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What is a guardian ad litem?

In some Iowa divorce cases, a judge who decides more information is needed before assigning custody may choose to employ the services of a guardian ad litem. Drake University states that this person is responsible for representing the child’s best interests in court. If you have had a guardian ad litem assigned to your case, there are certain things he or she will do that you need to be aware of.


First, home visits are common. A guardian ad litem will often accompany the child to any home or prospective home where time is or will be spent. If you are planning on moving, your representative will likely visit your new home.


Next, interviews will be conducted. Several people involved in the case will be interviewed, including the guardian, parent or any other person who may be given custody. If your child is old enough, he or she will also be interviewed. Interviews can also be conducted for others who have contact with the child, including any doctors, teachers, counselors, social workers or coaches.


The guardian ad litem will also be responsible to attend any hearings pertaining to the divorce and custody case. He or she will be responsible to present findings that may affect the court’s decision during hearings. This can include any facts or first-hand knowledge about you or your spouse that could help determine custody rights. This information is not meant as legal advice, but it intended to inform readers about the roles and responsibilities of a guardian ad litem.

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