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Working With Guardians ad Litem or Others Representing Children  

Author:  Barry Goldstein.; Elizabeth Liu.

Source: Volume 14, Number 04, Spring 2022 , pp.25-47(23)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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In this article—adapted from their book, Representing the Domestic Violence Survivor, 2nd Edition—Barry Goldstein and Elizabeth Liu, two authors with close familiarity with family court maneuvers, articulate the problematic involvement in child custody cases by guardians ad litem (GALs). These professionals, they argue, are often the heaviest contributors to unjust family court rulings. In summarizing the destructive impacts of GAL involvement, the authors offer a quote by noted child custody attorney, Richard Ducote, who states that problematic court rulings do not occur “in spite of the GALs, but rather because of the GALs.” The authors provide examples of cases negatively affected by misguided GAL recommendations, and they offer persuasive arguments against allowing GALs to remain operating in their current capacity. Thankfully, the authors also focus considerable attention upon the steps that can be taken by family court attorneys to work more effectively with these powerful legal agents while, at the same time, remaining aware of the appropriate legal steps to take should they need to counteract harmful GAL recommendations.

Keywords: Guardians ad Litem; Child Custody; Custody Court

Affiliations:  1: Attorney; 2: Attorney at Law.

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