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Family Guardian ad Litem
What is a Guardian ad Litem?
A Guardian ad Litem is an advocate for a child whose welfare is a matter of concern for the court. In legal terms, it means "guardian for the lawsuit". When the court is making decisions that will affect a child's future, the child needs and deserves a spokesperson - an objective adult to provide independent information about the best interests of the child. While other parties in the case are concerned about the child, the Guardian ad Litem is the only person in the case whose sole concern is the best interests of the child, and he or she is assigned as an advocate for the child for the duration of the court process.
Different from a legal guardian, the Guardian ad Litem has no control over the person or property of the child and does not provide a home for the child. The Guardian ad Litem does not function as the child's attorney and does not provide direct services to the child.
"Justice for children cannot be sought, let alone achieved, if their voice is not represented in the hearings that determine their fate. Guardians ad Litem are that voice." -Former Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz, Minnesota Supreme Court