Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Custody 

When a Florida child custody case is contested, the court may decide to rely on a guardian ad litem to get to the bottom of the he-said, she-said that is usually prevalent when parties disagree about the facts. A guardian ad litem is a party who investigates and makes recommendations to the court concerning the best interest of the children involved.

When there are allegations of child abuse, neglect or abandonment that are found by the court to be credible, the court must appoint a guardian ad litem. In order to serve as a guardian ad litem in a Florida child custody case, one must be a licensed attorney, or an individual certified as a guardian by specific organizations.

The guardian may visit the homes of both parents, speak with third parties who have information concerning the children, interview the children themselves, request and review the children's medical and school records, and take any other action the court deems necessary to investigate and protect the best interest of the children. After completing his/her investigation, the guardian must file a written report and usually testifies concerning his/her recommendations about the parenting plan. 

A guardian is immune from liability for his/her role in the case and is presumed to be acting in good faith. In many cases, the guardian may be the key to understanding the day-to-day life of the children involved in the case. When a Florida child custody case is highly contested, the guardian is helpful in helping all involved to get an unbiased review of what is affecting the best interest of the child and how the parents can move forward in a positive manner for the child's sake. 

If you are considering using a guardian in your case, you should know there are specific rules for asking the court to appoint one. To understand the issues of which you should be aware if a guardian is appointed, you should first consult with a Miami child custody lawyer. This may help you decide whether or not appointment of a guardian is necessary in your case.