In this article, you will learn…
- What the purpose of a Guardian Ad Litem is,
- Who North Carolina appoints as Guardian Ad Litem, and
- If the court will accept recommendations for Guardian Ad Litem.
What Is The Purpose Of A Guardian Ad Litem?
The purpose of a Guardian Ad Litem is dependent on what role they’re serving in the court. The Guardian Ad Litem’s voice is used to protect whoever they’re representing in court and give them an ability to speak and express to the court what their needs are. Some examples of who may need a guardian ad litem are…
- Someone who suffers from mental health or cognitive impairment,
- A minor child who doesn’t have the ability or hasn’t reached the age where they can express themselves, or
- Someone who the court has found lacks the capacity to speak on their own behalf.
A Guardian Ad Litem can be appointed to substitute their judgment for what is in the best interest of that person. So, it’s very dependent on the circumstances and what the court finds is appropriate in those circumstances.
Who Does North Carolina Appoint As A Guardian Ad Litem?
North Carolina has a Guardian Ad Litem program that is designed specifically for allowing representation for minor children that are involved in an abuse neglect dependency case. It’s a very specific set of circumstances.
Otherwise, in any other case, North Carolina can employ any adult who is…
- 18 or older,
- Competent to represent the party, and
- Able to speak on the party’s behalf.
An attorney practicing in that particular county could be routinely appointed as the Guardian Ad Litem for various programs.
Does The Court Have To Follow The Guardian Ad Litem Recommendations?
A court is not bound by the recommendations of a Guardian Ad Litem. A Guardian Ad Litem often serves as an independent investigator for the court. The role of a Guardian Ad Litem is to…
- Gather information,
- Look into various claims and accusations,
- Do an independent analysis of the situation, and
- Offer recommendations to the core on the appropriate way to resolve a case.
Ultimately, however, it is with the judges to make the decision based on the facts, circumstances, and evidence that’s presented to them. They will use their own sound judicial discretion to make a determination as to the outcomes of a case.
When Is It Appropriate To Request A Guardian Ad Litem?
It is appropriate to request a Guardian Ad Litem when…
- There is high conflict in a child custody case and the minor child’s wishes are not being expressed,
- A party may be preventing a child from being able to express their wishes,
- There has been issues of domestic violence or child abuse and cases involving adults,
- The party is suspected to have a cognitive impairment, either in the way of mental health issues, intellectual disabilities, or physical impairments which impact their ability to think clearly.
For more information on Purpose Of A Guardian Ad Litem In NC, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (980) 324-3099 today.