Guardian ad Litem

Guardian ad Litem (GAL) - Representing Children

Parents are in the best position to reach agreements as to their children. You know your children well, and have a responsibility to continue to parent them together, despite living apart. The Court system is there to assist, but without doubt, your children will do best when they have both parents working together to raise them and make decisions.
Sometimes, this is not possible. Sometimes, parents need some assistance in doing so. If so, a Guardian ad Litem, commonly referred to by the letters G A L, is utilized. This occurs when the Court appoints a specially trained individual, often an attorney, to represent the best interests of the children.
A Guardian ad Litem is not a guardian who might remain involved long term, is not the State of NH Division of Children Youth and Families, DCYF, (though they could be involved), nor a private investigator. Unfortunately, there are time and expense limitations that must be considered in using a Guardian ad Litem. Parents are responsible for the fees, directly or through reimbursement to the State.

When representing the best interests of children as Guardian ad Litem, it is my general practice to:

1. meet with each parent separately in my office without children present,
2. meet with children, usually once at each parent’s home,
3. speak with professionals such as schools, child care providers, counselors, coaches, etc.,
4. speak with personal references who have seen you with your children,
5. make recommendations to parents to reach an agreement, which often occurs, and
6. file a Report with the Court and proceed to testify at a Final Hearing if necessary.

A Request for Information questionnaire is completed by the parents to provide useful information to the Guardian ad Litem.

Client Information - Guardian ad Litem