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What to remember when working with a guardian ad litem

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2020 | Child Custody

Has a guardian ad litem been appointed in your child custody battle in Pennsylvania? Since the guardian ad litem’s observations and opinions tend to hold a lot of weight with the judge in a case, it’s natural to be nervous. After all, you’re an ordinary parent, not “super mom” or “super dad.”

Here are some important things to remember:

Act like cameras are on and somebody is always watching. Before you do anything, say anything or post anything on social media, ask yourself how you’d feel about having a video of your actions — possibly taken out of context — played for the judge in your case. Right now, it’s better to assume that you’re always under observation. Your every move is being scrutinized to see what kind of parent (and person) you are, so act accordingly.

Never lie, even if you have to admit to something unpleasant. If you’re asked about incidents in the past where you’ve made some parenting mistakes or questionable lifestyle choices, don’t try to lie or deflect any blame. Acknowledge your mistakes and explain exactly what you’ve done to change the situation. You must never lie to the guardian ad litem. If you’re caught (and you probably will be), you’ve lost your chance to turn the situation around by showing that you accept responsibility for the past and have learned from it.

Know the “best interests of the child.” These factors are the single most important set of guidelines for your custody case, so it’s smart to know what they are. Read them, talk them over with your attorney and make sure that you’re doing your absolute best to reflect them.

If you have any concerns about how to handle your interactions with the guardian ad litem in your custody case, make sure that you talk about them honestly and openly with your attorney.