What Is A Guardian Ad Litem?

While you may have heard of a "Guardian ad Litem" through reading, advertisements or television programs, you might not have a clear idea what this role entails. Many people assume a Guardian ad Litem is akin to a legal guardian (or guardianship) and makes decisions for a minor child. In fact, a Guardian ad Litem is appointed by the court to investigate a situation — whether a divorce, parental rights action, child protective case or guardianship proceedings — and report to the court. The Guardian ad Litem focuses solely on the best interests of the child.

What Is The Best Interest Of The Child?

The standard a Court uses in making any determination regarding children is the best interest of the child. This standard is codified by state statute. All recommendations must be made through the filter of "What is best for the child?" A Guardian ad Litem will carefully examine a situation by taking numerous factors into consideration. These factors include but are not limited to the age of the child, the child's relationship with each parent and the stability of each parent's living situation.

By examining these and other factors, a Guardian ad Litem provides a thoughtful and well-investigated recommendation that adheres to the best interest standard, as set forth in Maine law.

What Is Our Role?

At Lavoie Law, attorney Alicia Cushing serves as a rostered Guardian ad Litem for cases in Portland and communities throughout Maine. Whether in the context of a divorce, child custody or other parental rights action, we are prepared to help.

If you have questions about the Guardian ad Litem role or you need more information about the legal process, call or email our firm to schedule an appointment with a family lawyer.