In cases where the parties to a divorce, or other family law case, have a dispute concerning the legal and/or physical custody of minor children, the probate and family court has the authority to appoint a Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”). Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 215, Section 56A, and Chapter 208, Section 16 grant said authority.
A GAL may be an attorney or a mental health professional. There are two categories of GAL appointments- Category “F” (Investigative) and Category “E” (Evaluative).
When dealing with the high stakes of a custody dispute, particularly where a GAL has been appointed to conduct an investigation or evaluation and report back his or her findings, and, if the court so designates, to provide recommendations to your judge regarding custody awards, it is essential to have a lawyer who is skilled and experienced in handling such matters who can explain the process and guide a client through it.
For more information regarding such matters, please do not hesitate to contact me.
John G. DiPiano, Esquire – www.probateandfamily.com