You may have heard the term “guardian ad litem” and wondered what they were and when they were appointed.
In a Florida divorce or child custody case, a guardian ad litem is a professional who looks out for the best interests of a child. Florida Statutes Section 61.401 describes the circumstances under which a guardian ad litem is appointed:
In an action for dissolution of marriage or for the creation, approval, or modification of a parenting plan, if the court finds it is in the best interest of the child, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to act as next friend of the child, investigator or evaluator, not as attorney or advocate. The court in its discretion may also appoint legal counsel for a child to act as attorney or advocate; however, the guardian and the legal counsel shall not be the same person.