What is a Guardian Ad Litem?

A child or teen is generally not able to understand lawsuits or work with an attorney to initiate a defense to charges brought against them.  They need an adult to help them and protect their rights and interests.  The court knows this and will appoint a guardian ad litem to make sure the minor’s interests are represented.

Usually a minor’s parents serve as the guardian of their child’s interests.  In some cases, though, a parent is unavailable or incompetent.  Sometimes a parent has conflicting issues that make it inappropriate for them to be involved in their child’s case.  In these cases the court will appoint a guardian ad litem on behalf of the child.

The guardian does not have to be an attorney although they usually receive training on the duties of their role.  Appointing a guardian is within the court’s discretion.  Typically guardians are appointed in adoption, child custody, child support, other family court matters, and child abuse cases.  A guardian is often also appointed when a child has an interest in an insurance policy, will or trust.  The guardian can be objective and advocate for the child in these cases.

Juvenile Court law involves terms and procedures that may be unfamiliar to you.  The Law Offices of Mark Sherman is experienced with Connecticut Juvenile Court issues and is ready to help you.  If your child is in trouble, then you likely need a defense attorney with Juvenile Court experience to help you.  Contact us today.  We are ready to help you in any way we can.