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Court-Appointed Parenting Evaluators and Guardians ad Litem: Practical Realities and an Argument for Abolition  

Author:  Margaret Dore.

Source: Volume 08, Number 03, Winter 2016 , pp.279-285(7)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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In this seminal article, eminent attorney and scholar Margaret Dore persuasively argues for the elimination of GALs and parenting coordinators—legal or mental health professionals appointed by courts to litigated child custody cases. These agents are typically allowed an immense amount of sway over how these cases are decided, which in turn profoundly impacts the future of the parents and their children. The author offers rationales for why so much power placed in the hands of these individuals is unwarranted, unjust, and potentially a violation of the rights of the litigants. She concludes with a passionate argument in favor of the outright abolition of these positions.

Keywords: court-appointed parenting evaluators; establish evaluation standards; Best Interests Attorney; conflicts of interest

Affiliations:  1: Attorney at Law.

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