Most litigants going through a custody battle in Wisconsin have heard of the appointment of a guardian ad litem. Most seem to lack an understanding of what the guardian ad litem is required to do or what type of an investigation needs to be undertaken.
A guardian ad litem is required any time there is a dispute between the parties as to custody (decision making) or placement of minor children. There are other situations that may also require a guardian ad litem to be appointed (such as in cases where a married woman is pregnant from another man, to investigate paternity). The court has discretion to appoint a guardian ad litem any time there is a concern about the welfare and best interests of minor children. The typical appointment is on a custody dispute.
Once appointed, it is the duty of the guardian ad litem to conduct an investigation, to ultimately make recommendations to the court on the custody and placement of minor children. It would be impossible to make those recommendations without an underlying investigation. How involved or in depth the investigation might go depends on the facts of the case and the issues or concerns raised by the parents. There are some basics that most guardian ad litems follow;
The parties do not get to dictate what the guardian ad litem should be doing or what their investigation should consist of. It may consist of some or all of the above. My list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather, a listing of the basic components of what the guardian ad litem might do. How in depth the investigation should be depends on the facts of the case, the issues being addressed and the concerns raised by both parents.
If you have questions on custody or placement, or the role of the guardian ad litem, contact the experienced family lawyers at Karp & Iancu, S.C. today for a 100% confidential consultation.
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