Guardian Ad Litem
A guardian ad litem (GAL) in family law is someone you generally have to pay to speak against your constitutional interests. In theory the guardian ad litem is supposed to look after your child's interests in a legal proceeding where your child has no actual standing to have their interests asserted. If the guardian ad litem truly acted in your child's best interest, he or she would assert your child's fundamental right to have and to maintain a full and equal, intimate and expressive, close family association with each fit parent as protected by the First Amendment.
In the real world, the guardian ad litem is an agent of the judge who in turn is an agent of the state whose true purpose is to promote the interests of the state against your interests. Most states force you to pay this guardian ad litem to speak against your interests. Basically they are private prosecutors who you pay to prosecute you.
There is one very big glaring problem with guardian ad litems as they exist in most states, if the State compels you to pay someone to speak against your interests, the State violates your First Amendment rights under the prohibition against compelled speech.
It is your job to look out for your child's interests in any court proceeding and you have a fundamental right to do so. The State may not presume away this right but must prove through clear and convincing evidence that you are guilty of some statutorily defined act or omission that would demonstrate that your interests and your child's interests diverge in a meaningful manner.
Your child custody court is NOT legitimate to make this holding nor is your ex a legitimate government official to prosecute you for this act or omission. Prosecution requires the State to officially and personally serve you with charges that you can then properly defend against in a court established for that purpose where the State appears to meet its burden of proof.
Should your ex attempt to prosecute you in this way, your ex likely opens themselves up to civil rights suit in federal court for damages along with his or her attorney. While your ex may have no money that you can sue for, his or her attorney likely does and certainly has malpractice insurance that would likely pay.
If you have a guardian ad litem in your case and you are learning how bad an idea that actually was, we have a sample motion that shows you how to have the GAL removed and to have everything the GAL did and introduced into evidence declared to be unconstitutional.
If you have a guardian ad litem in your case and you are learning how bad an idea that actually was, we have a sample motion that shows you how to have the GAL removed and to have everything the GAL did and introduced into evidence declared to be unconstitutional. You can