Arkansas family law courts hear many cases that involve heated tension between the parties. Children are often at the center of these controversies. The parents’ emotions can sometimes take over, leaving a child in the middle. When this happens, a child’s best interest may not be served. In order to protect the best interest of the child, the court may order that a guardian ad litem be appointed to the case.
The guardian ad litem is a special type of guardianship. This person has been charged to investigate and uphold the best interests of the child in the dispute. The person becomes an integral part of the proceedings and acts on behalf of the child in the case.
The guardian ad litem has many duties in a family law case. First, the guardian ad litem needs to carefully understand the situation in order to best serve the needs of the child. In order to do this, the guardian needs to open an investigation into the case. This often includes interviewing the child, the parents and any other important party in the dispute.
The guardian ad litem is also responsible for protecting the child’s confidentiality throughout the case. The guardian can discuss the case with the child in an age-appropriate manner. This includes consulting with the child when important decisions are made regarding the case. Then, the guardian ad litem is responsible for informing the court of any relevant wishes of the child. This includes introducing testimony or other evidence about the child’s wishes in the case.
Throughout the investigation, the guardian ad litem can also make recommendations about how the dispute should be settled. It is important for parents in Arkansas to understand how a guardian ad litem could affect a family law dispute.