Guardian Ad Litem Virginia
So you’re heading to or just got out of a court hearing regarding divorce, child custody or visitation.
Whether you are filing for divorce, child custody, more visitation, or even concerns of abuse.
In Virginia, a guardian ad litem will most likely be appointed to your case.
While we’ve seen quite a few negative comments about them on social media.
Our experience has been relatively positive overall. While there are a few exceptions to this.
Most of the ones we have dealt with have been extremely diligent, smart, and hasn’t always sided with the mother (or father).
Their role is to look out for and protect the child’s best interest, whatever that might be.
So, in this article, we are going over 5 tips you need to know about while working with your Guardian ad litem in Virginia.
A Guardian ad litem is a court-appointed attorney to protect the best interest of the child(ren) in custody cases. A Guardian ad litem may be male or female. Guardian ad litem’s will meet with both parents, your child(ren), other parties involved with your case, as well as go to court and make a recommendation to the judge. Guardian ad litem’s are also appointed to individual adults who are incompetent in a suit.
5 Tips when working with a Guardian ad Litem in Virginia
Shortly after a guardian ad litem is appointed to your case.
You’ll want to reach out and give them a phone call. Your attorney will also probably advise you doing of this if you have one.
If you don’t have an attorney we strongly recommend you get one.
In Virginia, here is a good one which we have personally used and have won multiple cases for us.
If you live somewhere else here is a good resource to help you find one near you. Or if you are representing yourself Pro Se.
First impressions go a long way.
You’ll want to make a good one for someone who is going to represent your child’s best interests and make a recommendation to the judge in a court of law.
So, you’ll want to establish a good relationship with them as soon as you can if all possible. They can be a huge advocate and influence on the outcome of your case.
You’ll definitely want to stay in touch with them, but not too much. Consult with your attorney for an exact amount.
We recommend contacting them within 24 to 48 hours if all possible.
Just a quick phone to introduce yourself and to check about setting up a time to meet or exchange information regarding your case.
Be sure to read our article Guardian Ad Litem | What do they do? for even more tips.
Be polite and respectful
This should be a given.
Think about it.
They are the Guardian ad litem ” GAL” for your case.
That means they are an official, court-appointed attorney, and an officer of the court.
Would you want to be disrespectful to the judge, bailiff, or anyone else in a court of law? The answer is no.
So don’t be disrespectful to your GAL.
The Guardian ad litem didn’t cause you to be in the situation you are in. ( And possibly you didn’t either)
It’s common sense to treat them with respect. Just as you would anyone else.
Be honest with your Guardian ad litem in Virginia.
It’s not going to help your case one bit if you lie or try to be deceitful to them.
If you are uncertain about anything, always consult with your attorney.
During our 9 near custody dispute. We have had our fair share of working with Guardian ad litems and attorneys in Virginia.
You’re not going to help your case one bit if you are caught in a lie or lie to them.
I’m sure he would tell you the same thing.
We’re sure you’ve heard the saying “Honesty is the best policy.”
Well, that applies to the court, life, people and everything.
So don’t lie to your GAL.
They probably already know the truth so you might as well be honest with them in the first place.
Don’t put your child in the middle
Yes, your guardian will meet with your child.
That doesn’t mean you should tell the child everything about your case or anything at all.
In fact, it’s a very big no-no to try and influence your child whatsoever.
In our opinion, you should never attempt to influence your child.
A lot of parents do this and it can cause a lot of harm to your child and case.
The guardian ad litem will ask to speak with your child when old enough.
We suggest you don’t ask your child what they said or asked either.
They will want to and ask to speak to your child in private.
If they want you to know or have follow up questions they will let you or your attorney know.
Let them do their job and investigate.
Every single Guardian ad litem in Virginia we have ever dealt with has conducted a home visit.
They will want to visit your home and see how you live.
What type of atmosphere your child(ren) live or will be living in.
How close are they to school, extracurricular activities, etc.
As we mentioned in #1 of reaching out and contacting your GAL.
Making the first impression about where and how your child lives will speak volumes as well. When the GAL makes a visit to your home try to make it a good one.
So, try to be prepared and have you home in order.
We all get and understand that having children can turn your house upside down in a hurry or daily basis.
However, one can still have children and not live in a pigsty.
If you live in Virginia, and a guardian ad litem is appointed to your case.
Be yourself, be honest and be respectful.
You can share information about your case with them directly if you don’t have an attorney or check with your attorney on what you may or may not want to share.
You can also be respectful by what dressing appropriately when you do go to court.
We also recommend checking out our article What should I wear to court? for more information on that.
We are going to share some tips for when you are dealing with your guardian ad litem.
Remember. This is not legal advice and you should always seek the advice of an attorney.
If you have any questions or concerns speak with or consult with your attorney.
Some of this information in these tips may hurt your case you proceed with caution.
Every case is different and has different variables. What has worked for us may not for or be best for you and your situation or typical.