When there is a child custody issue in Spokane, Washington, the best interests of the child are of foremost importance. It is with this in mind that there might be the appointment of a guardian ad litem. Understanding what it is that the guardian ad litem does based on the law is helpful to those involved in the case. A guardian ad litem is appointed by the court to represent a child's interests. Often, the determination as to whether a guardian ad litem is needed is made by family court services.
The guardian ad litem will conduct an investigation, and provide a report as to the issues surrounding the child and child custody. They may also make recommendations based on their investigation. The court will take this information into consideration along with recommendations from other parties. The child might have a certain preference when it comes to where he or she lives, and the guardian ad litem will report this as well. This can be contingent on the child's level of understanding of the situation.
While the investigation is underway, the guardian ad litem might make periodic reports. The report will be filed at least sixty days before the trial. The parties can file a written response to the guardian ad litem's report. These will be taken into consideration by the court. The costs, fees and disbursements of the guardian ad litem may be paid by one or both of the parents, depending on their means. If neither can pay, the court will bear the costs. This guardian might have specific training for certain types of cases. The amount of experience can be important.
Parents who are embroiled in a child custody dispute or a parent who disagrees with the relationship the other parent has with their children might benefit from a guardian ad litem being involved with the case. In some cases, parents disagree with the recommendations made by the guardian ad litem. In others, they need to have help in upholding the findings. When there is a child custody dispute and a guardian ad litem is used, it is imperative that those involved understand the process so they can protect their interests.