Mequon Guardianship Attorney
Deciding how your family will be restructured to best meet the needs of your children during and after divorce or upon a court determination of paternity is perhaps the most important decision you, as a parent, will make. Legal custody, physical placement, and child support issues must be decided to ensure that your children’s needs continue to be met. “Legal custody” means making major decisions affecting your children, such as medical care, education, and religion. “Physical placement” means the amount of time your children will spend with each parent. “Child support” means providing for your children’s financial needs. If parents have disagreements, they must participate in mediation to help them resolve issues. If parents still don’t agree, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to assist the court in making custody, placement, and support decisions.
What is a guardian ad litem (GAL)?
A GAL is an attorney, licensed to practice law in Wisconsin. The GAL’s role is to represent the best interests of the children as determined by the GAL through an investigation. The GAL will investigate the facts, participate in negotiations, and take a position in court on legal custody and placement. The GAL is also involved in the financial issues of a case when those issues affect the children, such as child support and child expenses. The GAL does not have any of the rights or duties of a parent or general guardian. Although the GAL may be incorrectly referred to as the children’s attorney, the GAL’s role is to advocate for the best interests of the children. This may not be the same as advocating for what the children want.
What factors does the GAL consider in the investigation?
In investigating and developing input for the court’s consideration, the GAL must consider the following legal factors: