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What Is the Role of a Guardian Ad Litem in a Wisconsin Divorce?

Posted on in Family Law

Oconomowoc family law attorney divorce

In almost every divorce, there will be some form of disagreement, whether that be on the way the property was allocated or the way the spousal maintenance was calculated. For some couples, every topic brings a disagreement. For other couples, it is the children who become a point of contention. In situations when parents cannot reach a custody agreement, even in mediation, a guardian ad litem will be appointed to help the court determine what is in the child’s best interests. Going through a divorce with a spouse who does not seem to want to cooperate can be stressful, but the guardian ad litem (GAL) is there to make sure your child’s rights are protected.

What Is the Job of a Guardian Ad Litem?

In the simplest terms, the role of a GAL in Wisconsin is to conduct an investigation to determine what is in the child’s best interests with regard to custody and physical placement. The GAL will then compile a report of their findings that they will present to the court, along with their recommendations. The investigation that a GAL conducts might include things such as:

  • Conducting discovery

  • Hiring experts

  • Interviewing witnesses

  • Investigating possible instances of violence or abuse between the parents

  • Providing input on proposed parenting plans or custody agreements

  • Negotiate settlements

How Is a Guardian Ad Litem Appointed to a Case?

When parents disagree on a child-related issue, the first step in Wisconsin is to attend mediation sessions to attempt to resolve their issues, though that requirement can be waived in certain situations. If that does not work, then they will have a GAL appointed to them and their case will be heard before a judge. The court can also appoint a GAL in instances when the child’s welfare is of concern or if the best interests of the children are an issue.

Speak With Our New Berlin Child Custody Attorneys Today

When it comes to issues involving the children, many couples have difficulties coming to an agreement about things like allocating their parenting time between one another. In some instances, a GAL must be appointed to help ensure the child’s best interests are being kept as a priority. If you are having a difficult time negotiating child-centered issues with your spouse, call Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP today at 262-232-6699. We offer free consultations with our Waukesha County child custody lawyers.

 

Sources:

https://www.wisbar.org/forpublic/ineedinformation/pages/guardians-ad-litem.aspx

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/767/v/407

 

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