Most people are not familiar with the guardianship process or have a need to become familiar until it is necessary to appoint one on behalf of a child or loved one. When a family member reaches an age or incapacity that renders them no longer able to appropriately care for themselves, guardianship may be necessary and beneficial. The decision of whether to appoint a guardian, establish a power of attorney, or develop an applicable trust is a complex one that most people decide with the help of experienced legal representation.
One way to educate yourself on the process in order to decide whether the path of guardianship is a proper fit is to familiarize yourself with applicable guardianship terms. One common term role and that is curious to most people is the guardian ad litem. Understanding their specific role, rights and responsibly can help you better understand the goal of the legal system and help you facilitate the needs of the child or loved one in need of guardianship.
A guardian ad litem, or GAL, is appointed by the court to ensure the best interest of the proposed ward or child is properly served. They often act as a liaison between the child or ward, other parties and the judge to reach an ideal outcome. A GAL is usually recommended by the court for cases where allegations have been made of one party’s lack of fitness to care for a child. This usually occurs in dependency or neglect cases involving children. A GAL would typically not be recommended in cases where the parents have uniformly come to an agreement regarding custody, parenting plan or visitation issues.
If a guardian ad litem has been appointed in your case or matter you can expect he or she to act in an investigatory manner. Their sole purpose is to secure the most healthy and stable permanency plan for the child and they need to gather information to make their assessments and evaluations. They often request to schedule home visits, interviews, time with the child at school or home, meetings with the child’s daycare provider or teacher and other relevant family members. The GAL is afforded a broad range of legal capabilities including obtaining various types of records and speaking to a variety of applicable individuals. It is recommended to cooperate with the GAL as much as possible and afford them the time and patience their process requires.
Contact an Experienced Kansas Attorney Today to Answer Your Guardianship Questions
If you are engaged in the guardianship process and have questions, our legal team is here to support you and provide clarity. Attorney Tom McDowell has over 40 years of experience helping ensure that families are protected, and so are the best interests of their children and loved ones. Contact the Kansas Guardianship Attorney at McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322 to see how we can help you and your family’s guardianship needs in Kansas.