If you are in the unfortunate circumstance of going through a custody battle and are contemplating the engagement of a GAL, there are some things you should know. Divorces are hard, traumatic even, especially for children. Working with your ex-spouse can be immensely challenging, but you should try to agree with them if it as at all possible. If you are unable to do so and must use GAL services Lynnwood WA, here are three things you should know.
1. GALs Can Be Expensive
While GALs involved in cases involving child abuse or neglect may be a volunteer, those involved with divorces are often not. They are often attorneys themselves, and they expect to be paid. A GAL may charge a lower hourly rate than an attorney fee, but it can still be a couple of hundred dollars per hour. Remember, you and your ex-spouse have people representing you and they are representing the child’s best interests.
2. GALs Are Nearly Always Listened To by the Judge
In a custody dispute, especially in a highly contentious divorce, both parties agree to the use of a guardian ad litem and who that person will be. For this reason, judges place great emphasis on their recommendation. If you disagree with a GAL’s recommendation, it is incredibly difficult to get a different outcome.
3. GALs Represent the Child
If you obtain GAL services, please be careful in your interactions with them. Be honest, don’t pester them, refrain from attacking the other side, and let them do their job. They have seen a lot, which is a good thing. Present your side, always demonstrate respectful behavior, love your child, and trust the process.
If at all possible, try to come to an agreement through yourselves, your attorneys, or mediation in matters about child custody, If you are unable to do so, or if you are in a highly contentious divorce, leverage a GAL.