Children, wind up dealing with the Pennsylvania courts for a number of reasons. Sometimes, the child themselves has had issues that have led to court intervention, such as chronic truancy or aggressive behavior toward others.
Other times, the child may be a victim of abuse whose parents are the subject of a state investigation. It is even possible for children whose parents plan to divorce to have a guardian ad litem named to represent them in certain circumstances, including when one parent accuses the other of abuse.
Understanding when the courts may take this action can help you respond more appropriately if there is a guardian ad litem involved in your family’s life.
The courts make a decision based on the child’s perceived needs
The purpose of a guardian ad litem is to focus on the best interest of the children and the needs that they currently have. In the scenario with abuse, it is relatively obvious why the courts would want to appoint a competent adult to represent the child, who may not be able to speak up on their own behalf.
In situations involving divorce or juvenile delinquency, when the courts determine that the child may need extra services or if they worry that there aren’t adequate supports in place for the child, the assignment of a guardian ad litem can help ensure that the child receives all necessary consideration and protections.
The guardian ad litem wants to help your children, which is what you want too. Trying to keep that in mind can make it easier to interact with these professionals when necessary.