Weekly, Shon Cook joins us for a segment from her family law office in Whitehall to make some of the "tough stuff" in the legal world more easy to understand and cut through the "legal speak" that is quite often intimidating to those who are not involved with the legal system on a regular basis. It's really one of the most intimidating parts of it all really trying to understand what and why while you are in the middle of a life crisis like a divorce, child custody dispute or something along those lines. Shon and her staff are simply masters at making sure you are informed, knowledgeable and that you know their work is dedicated to the best outcome for you. It's the above and beyond that sets Shon a part, like setting aside time weekly to come by and help you understand in advance that is the most invaluable part.
Today, we're dipping into a subject called "Guardian Ad Lituim". Big words in some other language, I know. Basically it comes down to this. Guardian Ad Litum is a person the court appoints to investigate what solutions would be in the “best interests of a child.” Here, we are talking about a GAL in a divorce or parental rights and responsibilities case. The GAL will look into the family situation and advise the court on things like where the kids should live most of the time, if the child is in danger due to parental substance use or what kind of contact a child should have with a parent. In a nut shell. It's an attorney who's appointed to keep a child from the possibility of the drama that can unfold in a courtroom. The struggle of some of these decisions is hard enough, but imagine a kid having to sit in the formality of a court and having to choose a parent? Imagine what could come ahead of something like that with a parent trying to influence what a kid may or may not say? It's an overwhelming time for everyone and to immerse kids into it further, well, that's where the appointed guardian comes in.
Every case has specifics. Shon explains the broad view and how sometimes, it's the decision of the attorney to have a child take the stand or not. Remember, these are vastly broad challenges and the best outcome is what's desired for Shon's clients. Take a listen as Shon explains and Andy works to understand the intricacies of Guardian Ad Litum.