How to Report a Guardian Ad Litem

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Family courts are increasingly using guardians ad litem to determine proper disposition of child custody cases. A guardian ad litem is a person hired by the courts to represent the child. They are usually attorneys who can file motions and pleadings. Though the guardian ad litem system was instituted to protect children, many parents encounter guardians ad litem who fail to competently perform their jobs, who are biased or who do not protect the best interests of their children. In order to prevent other children from being harmed, it's important to report bad, biased or incompetent guardians ad litem.

Obtain a second opinion on the guardian ad litem's report. An expert who disagrees with the guardian ad litem and who can point to errors in his methodology is vital. Avoid hiring experts who always represent mothers or fathers. Instead, seek an unbiased expert witness who is trained in child psychology. Most family courts provide listings of approved expert witnesses, and your state board of psychologists can also direct you to an appropriate expert.

Determine if your state has a guardian ad litem licensing or regulatory board. You can find these boards by contacting your secretary of state's office or visiting the secretary of state's website. If there is a regulatory board, this is the proper venue for your complaint. Forward all paperwork, documentation and evidence you have to the board. Send the testimony of your expert witness with your complaint.

Read More: Responsibilities of a Guardian Ad Litem

Report the guardian ad litem to your state bar. Because most guardian ad litems are attorneys, they are responsible for following normal ethical principles dictated by the bar association. Send the report of your expert and all paperwork and documents to the state bar.

Ask your attorney to submit a motion to remove the guardian ad litem to the judge in your case. If the judge agrees that the guardian ad litem has violated ethical norms, she will be removed and a new guardian will be appointed. If the court has issued a custody order based upon the recommendations of the guardian ad litem, this order may be changed.

Warnings

  • Never report a guardian ad litem simply because you disagree with her decision. You must only report serious ethical breaches. Doing otherwise can harm your case and even subject you to a defamation lawsuit.