Guardian Ad Litem

A Guardian Ad Litem is often referred to as a "GAL." These special people represent the child involved in a court battle situation. This occurs in the following circumstances:

  • The child is in need of care
  • Custody or divorce battle

The GAL ensures that the best interests of the children are represented.

Guardian Ad Litem in CINC Cases

CINC stands for child in need of care. In CINC cases, there is an allegation that a child is in need of court assistance because of neglect, abuse, or otherwise. During cases like this, parental rights may be severed. The GAL in such a case makes a tough recommendation whether to indeed sever parental rights or support a reintegration plan. Reintegration is the goal, but sometimes the GAL must recommend a complete severing of the rights if that is indeed what is in the child's best interest.

Guardian Ad Litem in Divorces

A GAL is especially recommended in custody battles where the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan or where there is fighting between the divorcing parents. In cases like this, the GAL will take the following actions:

  • Investigates the situation
  • Interviews the parents
  • Interviews the children
  • Contemplates different options
  • Makes a recommendation to the judge
  • Tries to make sure that the child's best interests are upheld

How Martin & Wallentine, LLC Will Handle My Case

As a Kansas attorney, Jerry Wallentine has been appointed in Johnson County Court to serve as a Guardian Ad Litem. Family law is not his primary legal focus, Family Lawyer Richard Martin is the one who does that. However, Jerry especially enjoys being able to represent and help young children going through a difficult situation. His parents participated in caring for numerous different foster care children. He remembers the compassion his parents provided for these temporary children.

He also remembers times when the children were sent back into a bad home life. Jerry grew up with the feeling that children were too quickly sent back into unstable homes. However, now, as a lawyer, Jerry is extremely concerned about the government even getting involved, much less actually taking away parental rights. In any event, his unique situation allows him to see both sides. He enjoys getting involved and using discretion to determine what is best for the child. There are indeed times when the court should remove children from the home and sever parental rights. There are times when the court should not.

If two parents agree that a guardian ad litem may be helpful for their children, please consider Jerry Wallentine to serve as your GAL. Typically, the court appoints the GAL, but if the parties agree, the court will generally sign off an an order for a specific GAL. Jerry will not agree to anything except representing the best interest of the child involved. It should be noted, Jerry does not generally practice family law. He has represented a very select few clients in family law matters. However, he has a passion for children and discretion. He would enjoy working with the parents and their attorneys to find the best possible resolution for the children.

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