Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Do you need a guardian ad litem in your Florida child custody case? Guardians are appointed in many high conflict family law cases, including those where there are allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment of a child. 

According to the Florida Statutes: 

 “In an action for dissolution of marriage or for the creation, approval, or modification of a parenting plan, if the court finds it is in the best interest of the child, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to act as next friend of the child, investigator or evaluator, not as attorney or advocate. The court in its discretion may also appoint legal counsel for a child to act as attorney or advocate; however, the guardian and the legal counsel shall not be the same person. In such actions which involve an allegation of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect as defined in s. 39.01, which allegation is verified and determined by the court to be well-founded, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the child. The guardian ad litem shall be a party to any judicial proceeding from the date of the appointment until the date of discharge.” Fla. Stat. 61.401.

The guardian might investigate the allegations made in the case by interviewing the parties, the children involved and other witnesses; visiting the homes of each parent; speaking with teachers and coaches; and taking any other steps deemed necessary to make a complete report to the court. A recommendation is then made to the court regarding the best interest of the child.

A guardian might help cut through the “he-said, she-said”. If you have a case that might benefit from appointment of a guardian ad litem, contact a Miami child custody lawyer to determine how to request one. A consultation will help you decide your next steps.