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,
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.