What is a Guardian Ad Litem?

Are you currently involved in a fiercely contested divorce or child custody dispute in New York state? If so, a judge may decide to appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of your children. This individual, typically an attorney, is tasked with ensuring that your child’s rights are always fully protected during any family law disputes. Here, our Syracuse child custody attorneys discuss what you need to know about the appointment and role of a guardian ad litem.

New York Law: The Best Interests of the Child

Under New York law, all child custody cases are decided under the state’s ‘best interests of the child’ legal standard. This standard is comprehensive. When making child custody and child visitation decisions, New York family law courts will consider all important aspects of a child’s life, including their:

  • Physical safety;
  • Psychological health;
  • Emotional well-being: and
  • Social development.

When a custody case because hotly disputed, courts worry that a child’s interests must be forgotten, or worse, that a child might be put in the middle of their parents. As such, a guardian ad litem may be appointed to assess what is truly best for a child, and then to advocate for the child’s legal rights.

New York Courts Put Great Weight on the Guardian Ad Litem’s Recommendations

In the event that a guardian ad litem is appointed in your Syracuse child custody case, you need to be aware of the considerable authority and influence that this individual will possess. Indeed, a guardian ad litem will often be able to access sensitive, personal information regarding you, your child and your family. Further, when a guardian ad litem does come to a position on what should happen in your case, New York family law courts will generally put a great deal of faith in their findings and their recommendations. The bottom line: If a guardian ad litem has been appointed in your case, you need to hire an experienced child custody lawyer who will be able to ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected.

Do You Need Family Law Assistance in Central New York?

We can help. At the Bombardo Law Office, P.C., we have extensive experience handling all aspects of child custody and child visitation cases. Our top priority is to protect your parental rights and interests. To request your free, no obligation legal consultation, please call us today at (315) 488 5544. From our office in Syracuse, we serve individuals and families throughout the region, including in Onondaga County and Oswego County.

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