A PERSON APPOINTED BY THE COURTS TO PROTECT THE BEST INTERESTS OF A MINOR CHILD
The role of a Guardian Ad Litem as defined by the Courts is: “to act as children’s representatives, and to promote society’s interest in protecting children from the traumas commonly associated with divorce and timesharing disputes.”
A VMS Guardian Ad Litem will:
A thorough investigation will be completed with both parents as to the current family dynamics in place, as well as the sources of conflict. As part of this process, parents will be asked to complete our intake forms, schedule an appointment for an intake interview with the GAL, as well as a parenting-time observation.
Focus on the child(ren)’s best interest
The Guardian Ad Litem will meet with the child(ren) privately (when age-appropriate) during the parenting-time observation and get to know them. During this bonding time, the GAL may obtain information in a non-threatening manner as to what their wishes are, how they feel about the family dynamics in place, and any conflict they may be exposed to.
Protect the child(ren) from further conflict and/or trauma
The GAL may make recommendations to the parents on ways they can reduce and/or eliminate conflict with one another in order to protect the physical, emotional, and mental health of the child(ren).
Make recommendations to the Court
The GAL will act as the voice of the child(ren) in court and make recommendations as to the best interest of the child(ren)’s interest through written report and/or testimony.
The typical process for a family utilizing VMS Guardian Ad Litem Services is:
- A family is ordered to VMS for GAL services OR parties mutually agree to use VMS services.
- Parents submit separate Intake Packets for GAL services and retainer for services to VMS.
- VMS contacts each parent to complete separate intake appointments to gather family history and documentation on the legal case.
- VMS schedules separate appointments to observe shared-parenting-time with each parent with their child(ren).
- VMS may interview or collect additional information from other sources (schools, friends, mental health professionals, etc.) as needed.
- VMS writes a report with the findings and recommendations for the Court.