i have retained an attorney for my child custody case,
my lawyer and i have decided on a guardian ad litem, has anyone ever used one??? my lawyer also cautioned me that it may not go in my favor theres always that chance, but im very confident in my decision being the bad relationship between my ex husband and my 6 year old son...
well please reply with any info. on a guardian ad litem, like how do they act around you, what they did, what they said? id appreciate it, yes i googled it but i want to hear- personal experience if you dont mind thanks
Loc: In the Great State of Texas
Your lawyer is right. It's a crap shoot what you get. There are good ones and bad ones, just like judges!!
In Texas they 'usually' do a home visit when the child(ren) are with each parent. They want to see the child(ren)'s bedroom and other main living areas. They watch how each parent interacts with the child(ren). If the kids are old enough, they will interview them separately from the parent.
Some are TRULY concerned with the child's best interest; some are not. Some will be biased for the mother/father, or the lawyer of each. You really don't know what you will get.
I have been associated with 3 GAL'S during my custody case. One was HORRIBLE (even disbarred 2 years later), one so-so, and one excellent.
John Constantine: God's a kid with an ant farm.... He's not planning anything.
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Whatever you do - do not "bash" the other parent to the GAL BIG no no.
As my lawyer once said "family court is a personality contest." My eX is very paranoid around our GAL, even records her visits with our son using a tape recorder and refuses to allow her to be alone with him. I on the other hand go out of my way to include her, including even inviting her over to evaluate how he is with his other brothers. My recommendation is to be yourself, do not say anything disparaging about your eX, don't even roll your eyes if its name comes up. Also, don't try to act like super mom, many GAL's are themselves parents and they know that it is not easy and that no parent is perfect. Here is what a court is looking for when evaluating custody, but first...check out exmagazineonline.com- It is an excellent source and one you shouldn't be without if going through a custody battle.
(1) The love, affection and emotional ties existing between the parents or
caregivers and the child;
(2) The disposition of the parents or caregivers to provide the child with food,
clothing, medical care, education and other necessary care and the degree to
which a parent or caregiver has been the primary caregiver;
(3) The importance of continuity in the child’s life and the length of time the
child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment; provided, that, where
there is a finding, under subdivision (a)(8), of child abuse, as defined in § 39-
15-401 or § 39-15-402, or child sexual abuse, as defined in § 37-1-602, by one
(1) parent, and that a nonperpetrating parent or caregiver has relocated in order
to flee the perpetrating parent, that the relocation shall not weigh against an
award of custody;
(4) The stability of the family unit of the parents or caregivers;
(5) The mental and physical health of the parents or caregivers;
(6) The home, school and community record of the child;
(7)(A) The reasonable preference of the child, if twelve (12) years of age or
(B) The court may hear the preference of a younger child on request. The
preferences of older children should normally be given greater weight than
those of younger children;
(8) Evidence of physical or emotional abuse to the child, to the other parent or
to any other person; provided, that, where there are allegations that one (1)
parent has committed child abuse, as defined in § 39-15-401 or § 39-15-402,
or child sexual abuse, as defined in § 37-1-602, against a family member, the
court shall consider all evidence relevant to the physical and emotional safety
of the child, and determine, by a clear preponderance of the evidence, whether
such abuse has occurred.…
(9) The character and behavior of any other person who resides in or frequents
the home of a parent or caregiver and the person’s interactions with the child;
(10) Each parent’s or caregiver’s past and potential for future performance of
parenting responsibilities, including the willingness and ability of each of the
parents and caregivers to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing
parent-child relationship between the child and both of the child’s parents,
consistent with the best interest of the child.
entering a permanent parenting plan a court also shall consider:
(1) The parent’s ability to instruct, inspire, and encourage the child to prepare
for a life of service, and to compete successfully in the society that the child
faces as an adult;
(2) The relative strength, nature, and stability of the child’s relationship with
each parent, including whether a parent has taken greater responsibility for
performing parenting responsibilities relating to the daily needs of the child;
(3) The willingness and ability of each of the parents to facilitate and
encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child
and the other parent, consistent with the best interests of the child;
(4) Willful refusal to attend a court-ordered parent education seminar may be
considered by the court as evidence of that parent’s lack of good faith in these
(5) The disposition of each parent to provide the child with food, clothing,
medical care, education and other necessary care;
(6) The degree to which a parent has been the primary caregiver, defined as the
parent who has taken the greater responsibility for performing parental
(7) The love, affection, and emotional ties existing between each parent and
(8) The emotional needs and developmental level of the child;
(9) The character and physical and emotional fitness of each parent as it relates
to each parent’s ability to parent or the welfare of the child;
(10) The child’s interaction and interrelationships with siblings and with
significant adults, as well as the child’s involvement with the child’s physical
surroundings, school, or other significant activities;
(11) The importance of continuity in the child’s life and the length of time the
child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment;
(12) Evidence of physical or emotional abuse to the child, to the other parent
or to any other person;
(13) The character and behavior of any other person who resides in or frequents the home of a parent and such person’s interactions with the child;
(14) The reasonable preference of the child if twelve (12) years of age or older.
The court may hear the preference of a younger child upon request. Preference of older children should normally be given greater weight than
those of younger children;
(15) Each parent’s employment schedule, and the court may make accommodations consistent with those schedules; and
(16) Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.