minor's counsel

In the family law system, minor’s counsel, Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), is a court appointed lawyer who represents minor children because the latter cannot represent themselves. An important position indeed. GAL can definitely have major influence in determination of custody and visitation rights.


GAL can visit your house, or whatever else, if this is what she wants to do, all in the best interests of children. She can have major impact on the choice of “players” in your case such as therapists, evaluators, monitors etc.


Your attorney may or may not want you to talk to GAL. Since I represented myself I was forced by the circumstances to talk to my kids’ GAL quite frequently because I had no one else to talk or complain to when my alienated children used to run away from me or caused strangers to call the police during my visits. Not that it made any difference in my case.


One must be careful when talking to GAL. In cases of Parent Alienation, when GAL is not professionally aware of it, she may misconstrue your children’s belligerent attitude toward you as a target parent and think that there has been abuse in the past.  In my case where heavy Parent Alienation was present I chose to discuss it with GAL just to make sure that at least she was aware of it and did not take all the unfounded child abuse accusations against me literally. 


Whether it made a difference or not I do not know. But I think if I did not talk to GAL about Parent Alienation, it might have been worse.


I know for a fact that every time the GAL in my case spoke to my ex’s attorneys, her understanding of Parent Alienation dissipated. Perhaps, she felt that she would not measure up to him in court and wanted to escape embarrassment. My kids’ GAL decided to recuse herself in the middle of my trial.


My experience with GAL just proves again that the Family Law System in this country is inadequate.  The laws that exist on the books may or may not be exercised by the “players” of the system depending on their attitude toward a litigant.


Please, write your opinions on GAL in your case on this website so that the rest of the community knows what to expect from these people.



Max Shtirlitz.