GAL Collateral Interviews
Guardian ad litem's conduct an investigation into the best interest of the children and will interview the parents, the child/ren, and third parties with relevant information to the best interest of the child/ren. These third parties are called collaterals.
While parents still are able to make significant decisions for their children while in family law court, subject to any court orders otherwise, parents, attorneys, and providers should consult with and/or inform the Guardian ad litem, also known as the GAL, prior having the child/ren evaluated or assessed for treatment with a mental health professional.
Who will the GAL Interview?
If, however, the child is already in treatment, you should kindly forward the name, address, and telephone number of the psychologist or therapist to the GAL's attention. A parent should also contact the appropriate provider and execute a written release permitting any doctor, psychologist, or therapist, to communicate with the GAL and to disclose any written reports or notes as it relates to the child/ren.
Parents should contact the provider at their earliest convenience for their preferred release form, as the collateral process and document review can be a main reason the GAL investigation is delayed. Once a release or authorization form is completed and tendered to the provider, a copy to should also go to the GAL for the GAL's records and so the GAL can refer to it when contacting the provider.
If your child is attending school, please contact the school at the earliest convenience to provide a copy of their preferred release form and complete it to allow the GAL to receive academic records, attendance records, and the ability to speak with the teacher, principal, and school counselor/social worker. Again, it is best to provide the GAL with a copy of the completed release as well.
Third Parties - Family, Neighbors, Care Takers, Coaches, etc.
Parents may submit additional 3rd party contact information to the GAL for the GAL to consider whether an interview of that third party assists with the GAL investigation. Please discuss what collateral would be important with your attorney since the GAL needs to focus on collaterals with pertinent and relevant information for the pending litigation issues. It will also help you limit your GAL fees. Parents that want or demand the GAL to interview all family members, all neighbors, and all friends need to consider if that approach and position is helpful to the GAL investigation, their budget, and whether it adds evidentiary value to their position.
Contact our Experienced Guardian ad litem and Family Law Attorney
Do you or your third party need any assistance working with a Guardian ad litem investigation? Do you think your case would benefit from having a Guardian ad litem? Contact our firm today to review your personal and case history to develop a plan for your Guardian ad litem investigation needs. We can be reached via our website or (630) 891-2478.