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When Does a Guardian ad Litem Get Involved?

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Usually when Social Services gets involved a GAL gets assigned. GALs are always appointed by the Court to advocate for the best interests of a child involved in neglect and abuse cases, permanent custody cases, and in temporary and permanent surrender cases. A GAL will also be appointed for a child in a dependency, delinquency, unruly, traffic, or private custody case when:

  • The child has no parent, guardian, or legal custodian
  • There may be a conflict of interest between the child and the parent, guardian, or legal custodian

A GAL will be appointed for a parent when the parent has mental and/or emotional health issues or is under the age of 18.

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