Episode 8: Guardian Ad Litem

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Intro 0:01
Welcome to What To Do When… a podcast from real lawyers with real perspective, where we explore a variety of legal issues and scenarios. Each week we focus on a new topic and discuss what to do when and if any of these legal scenarios ever happened to you or a loved one. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, our hosts offer their unique perspectives and insights on a range of real life legal situations.

Jackie Critzer 0:29
Welcome back to another podcast with Jackie and Scott here at Critzer Cardani in Richmond, Virginia.

Scott Cardani 0:36
What To Do When… A Dummies Guide to the Legalverse.

Jackie Critzer 0:39
Real talk. Real lawyers. Alright, Scott, what’s on the docket today?

Scott Cardani 0:44
What to do when the court appoints a guardian ad litem?

Jackie Critzer 0:48
A guardian… What? Excuse me?

Scott Cardani 0:50
Guardian Ad Litem,

Jackie Critzer 0:52
Okay, what is a guardian ad litem? Let’s start there.

Scott Cardani 0:57
This is a really important topic because a lot of people get this confused. The Guardian litem is an attorney. Number one, okay, who’s appointed by the court to represent usually a child’s best interest. If that’s not loaded, I don’t know what is. So you’re a lawyer for the child, a lawyer for the child but not the same way. I am a lawyer for a criminal defendant or lawyer for a client. And that’s there’s a lot of quasi there. But the idea is for us, there’s certain factors in the code. We’re supposed to look at those factors. But I want to say this before we get down that road, jumping ahead a little bit, but people need to understand a guardian ad litem is not a social worker. A lot of people think this guardian ad litem all sudden becomes a social worker, we get involved in all the nuance. My job as a guardian litem is to represent the child’s legal best interests. I still stay a lawyer. I’m looking out for their legal best interest, which may include some stuff from a social work perspective. But I don’t morph into a social worker, I stay a lawyer. I still have the power to subpoena documents. I still have the power to put on evidence in court. I make an argument in court, quite frankly, as a guardian litem, I actually make a recommendation to what I think to tell the court is in the child’s best interest in the circumstances that are before the court.

Jackie Critzer 2:19
So how does a guardian ad litem get involved in the case to begin with?

Scott Cardani 2:26
Virginia is pretty big, using guidelines and a lot of cases, but the number one case is in a divorce or custody case. And the idea is that the child’s rights, legal rights will be represented in that case, because quite frankly, when the Guardian litem is not involved, there are times when the children’s the impact on the children is not even really considered, without having somebody there to say, Hey, this is the impact. This is my recommendation based on that those factors. So it’s really important. There’s also a code section that says if you have to competent lawyers, a guardian litem may be appointed, which means there’s an option not to but the idea of The Guardian litem is to make sure that child’s voice is heard in the courtroom.

Jackie Critzer 3:12
So sometimes I get questions from clients, where a guardian ad litem is involved in their case. And they have questions like, Can the guardian ad litem just talk to the judge privately?

Scott Cardani 3:27
Maybe. Not really privacy, but it’s really, there is a provision in the code that allows the Guardian litem, or even one of the attorneys to ask for an in camera hearing. Those in camera hearings can sometimes be where the lawyers are present. The the parents aren’t. Most lawyers I know here, at least locally in this Richmond area, Greater Richmond area, kind of like to stay out of that and just let the judge talk to the child in the backroom.

Jackie Critzer 3:53
You’re sort of talking about the child talking to the judge. I mean, just the guardian ad litem, do you have, you know, the red Batphone to the judge?

Scott Cardani 4:00
I’m sorry, no, no, I misunderstood that. Now I have no contact with a judge outside of court. Which was really inside of court. It’s my only contact is to tell a judge what but in a way, I kind of take on a role of a quasi judge in the sense of I become as I technically I’ve kind of become his eyes and ears and I make an investigation about this case. And I report back to the judge what my findings are, he can totally say You’re crazy. You’re a Loon. I’m not gonna follow your recommendations. But my job is the kind of I go out to the crime scene so to speak, and I look at the evidence which he can’t get off the bench or she can’t get off the bench and do that’s kind of my role is to kind of take that role on.

Jackie Critzer 4:40
And so well, I mean, what might you do as a guardian ad litem, who are you going to see who are you trying to talk to and why?

Scott Cardani 4:48
The why is best interest. I know that’s a loaded term, but what we mean by that is the idea is to get the best possible circumstances. For this child going forward, so what’s in his best interest? Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that his best interest supersedes the family best interest, but his best interest has to be considered. And that’s, that’s the way you’re looking at it. So my job is to find out what the child’s best interest is. And to do that, obviously, I mean, for lawyers, we have to have a face to face with the child know, when the child’s two months old. I don’t know how much you gained from that sometimes, I mean, but you can gain abuse and damage and dirty and those kinds of things. But as far as clean and healthy, and yeah, but as far as communication, you’re not going to get much so you know that that value probably goes up as the kid gets older that face to face communication?

Jackie Critzer 5:44
Is it fair to say that you’re you’re going to talk to the child or guardian is going to speak to the child or other witnesses. Because sometimes the parents don’t accurately represent what’s going on with the child?

Scott Cardani 5:59
I think that’s the biggest thing is even if they’re trying to they have their own spin spin. I mean, you know, we all look, you know, we say this all the time, it’s ours, we can have seven people watch the same accident out in front of our building. And they would each probably give you a little different version of what happened, as they see it based on their frame of reference. So the same thing is true. In a divorce or custody case. Mom may see it from her perspective, dad may see it from his perspective. It’s nice to have that child’s perspective. And that child’s perspective be brought forward. And then the court has three different perspectives show he gets to look at step two.

Jackie Critzer 6:35
And what about a school if the child school age is the guardian ad litem going to go to the school?

Scott Cardani 6:40
Yeah, we can. The Guardian Ad Litem’s powers are pretty broad to go almost talk to anybody, the back of the order that were appointed on like the lower courts, the juvenile court, for instance, gives pretty broad powers. I mean, I can subpoena, I can talk to doctors, I can talk to counselors I can talk to, and I rarely, if ever get refused on any of those. I can walk into a school at 2:15pm and say, I’d like to speak to the child and I have that right.

Jackie Critzer 7:08
Well, you you raised something important. You said medical records, doctors, therapists for the child or for the parent?

Scott Cardani 7:15
for the child is the primary. I mean, there’s ways to get other things and parents involved. And that’s a I think that’s a whole nother wicket and discovery and talking about that. But the real issue is my role is to investigate the child’s best interest. So maybe there is an issue with mom’s mental health. For instance, maybe the child tells me that every three hours, she goes into a rage or is gone or whatever, then I might have a reason to try this, or to figure that out and figure out what I need to do. And maybe it does involve getting her medical records or something. And, you know, that lady is represented, they are their attorney may file some kind of motion. And we may have to argue in court, but I pretty much have carte blanche access. I mean, I started doing this in 1996, as a guardian litem, I’ve been doing it that long. So you know, it’s amazing how much you can get what you can do. And, but I’ve also learned in all that time, there’s, there’s things to pursue, and then there’s things not to pursue, and sometimes you can pursue an issue and you think it’s really hunky dory. And really what it does is create greater division. And it doesn’t help. And you have to be wise about that, I think is a guardian ad litem.

Jackie Critzer 8:27
So, when you are involved, as a guardian ad litem, and a parent, you’re you’re going to interview a parent. What should a parent do? Let’s make that list shorter. What should they not do? A parent should never fill in the blank when dealing with a guardian ad litem?

Scott Cardani 8:44
Well, number one, never refuse the the contact that just that’s just a giant red flag. Now. The code and the ethics say that, as a guardian litem I send I’ll send a form to your your attorney saying, hey, what kind of contact Do you want me to have? Can I have face to face with your client without you there? Do you want to be present? And I certainly believe that you have the right to be represented, as I’ve said, through every podcast, at any stage. So I don’t find that offensive. I do think sometimes great lions think you’re hiding something. If you’re lawyers there, there’s a suspicion that can grow there. So my, my idea is if you don’t need your lawyer there, maybe you don’t need him there. But there are some times when it’s, you know, a crazy case and there’s a lot of allegations flying back and you want your attorney there with you when you answer any questions because it’s that kind of a show that’s really bad and you know, anything you say can and will be used against you.

Jackie Critzer 9:44
So if someone’s attorney says to you as the guardian, no, I just want my client to have contact with you with me present. Okay, that’s fine. At what point should the person really be worried if they haven’t heard from The Guardian in that scenario?

Scott Cardani 10:00
Well, there’s two scenarios there. I think if your guardian litem hasn’t talked to you or your attorney, you should be worried that your side is not being heard period. I mean, that’s, that’s got to happen. I’ve have some very, let’s take if before Jackie and I were together. If I needed some information about Jackie’s client from Jackie, I could call her and know that I was getting really good information that I needed. I might not need to call the client in that space. Especially if Jackie said, hey, I want you to go through me. And sometimes it’s just easier to go through Jackie, because I’m gonna get the same answer. But, you know, and again, what’s the issue in the case is that that mom’s a horrific person, and the house is a mess, and dangerous, and all those things and my role kind of changes about how much I need to go see the mom at her house and be there and be present. One of the roles I have as a guardian litem that a lot of people don’t like, and I’ve just done this. So long now since I started this was, if I show up, and you know, I’m coming, I’m not going to see the same person that I came to see.

Jackie Critzer 11:09
Or maybe even the same house or circumstances? Or, any of that.

Scott Cardani 11:13
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked when I first started, I used to call ahead and make a two o’clock appointment, and I’d show up at 1:30. And there’d be people throwing trash in the trash bins, and, you know, like this manually cleaning up and, you know, or, you know, you get to the house and the kids in a little three piece suit. I am not exaggerating. But my point is, everything’s hunky dory, and the kids scared to death. And so, you know, there’s all those things that can happen. So I always find that spontaneous visits can really give me a better lay of the land. And I also, I think a lot of attorneys or guardian, or attorneys who act as guidelines do this is my times I go to the school or some third party place to talk to the kid. Sure, I even find that when they come into my office with a parent, sometimes the parent being in the other room, they’re just not as loose or open or whatever. When I go to the school, they go there every day, they’re safe there, they feel like they don’t have their parental interaction there normally. So they feel pretty open. And I find that a really good place to get some information.

Jackie Critzer 12:15
Well, you know, Scott, I’ve had a lot of a lot of clients say, Well, you know, the Guardian went to the school, and are they even allowed to do that. And absolutely a guardian is allowed to do that. Sometimes that’s after I get involved after the case has been going on for a little while, I try to prepare clients that what a guardian is supposed to do, and how to interact with the guardian to be honest with the guardian. And if they’re unsure how to communicate something to The Guardian, that they really should be talking to them to their lawyer first, and, and deciding and ascertaining whether that information is relevant and helpful. So, Scott, when does a guardian ad litem, when did their duty start? And when do they end?

Scott Cardani 12:59
Yeah, that’s really important, because I think a lot of people have great misunderstanding about this, too. My involvement begins when that court order is signed, basically, without a court order without an appointment is called. I am not the Guardian litem, okay. So it’s a very important distinction. Because my appointment also ends the day that case finalizes. So for instance, and in Virginia, we go by case numbers, we have case, CJ 1167 3.01. Right. So that might be if it’s cost is probably gonna be a JJ number. Not that that matters. But anyways, at the end of that case, the judges heard the evidence he she or he or she makes a ruling. My next assignment is to explain that to the child and tell them what’s going to go on and finish my representation. As soon as I finished that representation. I’m done. So unless the court sometimes the court will say the Guardian litem stays on for six more months, but my point is, if in three months from now something happens, I’m not. I’m not appointed.

Jackie Critzer 14:05
You could run interference in the case in other words. If after the case closes, something’s going on.

Scott Cardani 14:12
Yeah, technically, I could probably file a motion to be reappointed that moment, but in that moment, I’m not there. And I have people call me years later and say, Hey, you were the Guardian litem for my son last year, and I’m having this problem with his dad. And I always have to say, I’m not appointed. But you’re the Guardian Ad Litem. I was the guardian. I’m your correct. And I’m not the Guardian litem. And it is a distinction and I just don’t want to fall foul to the judge by doing stuff that I I mean, I not appointed to do.

Jackie Critzer 14:44
Have there been cases that you’ve been a part of where there was an initial petition, maybe it was a divorce, or maybe it was separated parents, maybe it was parents who were never married? And then that case went on for a long time and it ended final order. And then one of the parents filed a motion To a man something needed to change and you were reappointed?

Scott Cardani 15:03
Oh, yeah, absolutely. I’ve been, you know, in the judges, I think and in goodness, try to keep that same attorney appointed. Unless there’s a reason not to. And that kind of goes to another topic. I’m sure you’re gonna ask me. Can you get rid of a guardian litem?

Jackie Critzer 15:15
That’s the next question. What happens if you what happens if somebody doesn’t like the guardian ad litem, can they get them removed from a case?

Scott Cardani 15:23
You know, that to me doing this as long as I’ve done it? is a really hard question to answer. Because it really depends on the factual basis of why you want that Guardian removed, and also what you can essentially prove. This is not a He Said, She Said argument, you know, you can’t just go, why don’t like him. He didn’t show up at my house. And I was in court the other day with a friend of mine, and some guy was the case had been over for a year. And somehow they he saw this garden item in the courthouse, and they happen to be there at the same time, which is kind of weird. But anyways, he said on your bill year ago, you said that you were never at my house. And he goes really? He said, You are my house and you never came to my house. He was really he said, You mean the condo that had this, this furniture in this? And that was kind of funny. But you know, that’s the kind of, you know, that’s where I’m going with that.

Jackie Critzer 16:20
Well, it’s interesting you that you brought up the bill. Wait a minute, there’s a bill, the court appoints a guardian ad litem to represent a child’s best interest. And there’s a bill going to the parents for that.

Scott Cardani 16:31
Yeah, that’s how it works. If we’re appointed, isn’t that in by the court, the juvenile court, let’s be really specific or lower court. It’s usually done through a state appointments, kind of like a court appointed fee. The fee is $55 out of court and $75 in court.

Jackie Critzer 16:49
What do you mean hour per hour?

Scott Cardani 16:50
Per hour, sorry. So that fee, at the end, I turn that fee, whatever that is, I charge $300. Total, I turn that fee to the court, the court is required to make a determination based on the parents income, whether they can pay and how much of that bill they should pay. And that’s it, they have a formula, I have looked at it, but I haven’t really, I couldn’t tell you what the formula is anymore. But it’s kind of like Child Support Formula, there’s that they Okay, the General Assembly has come up with this formula and percentages and all that stuff, and they take your income, plug it into the formula and figure out what percentage you would owe that $300.

Jackie Critzer 17:30
Sometimes just one parent have to pay, and the other not?

Scott Cardani 17:33
Quite often depends on the indigency of the parent, which means their poverty or whatever you want to say, or they’re not making a lot of money.

Jackie Critzer 17:39
And so you you made a distinction when talking about the juvenile court, which would be Virginia’s family court, versus the Circuit Court, which would be either either our divorce court, or if a juvenile court matter was appealed to the circuit court.

Scott Cardani 17:55
Well, and that’s that’s kind of funny, because if it’s appealed from the juvenile court, you kind of remain on that court appointed financial arrangement. Okay, so but if the case a custody case starts in circuit court, or it’s the divorce that starts in circuit court and the court appoints, then I get hired as a lawyer at my normal rate, whatever that rate is, when who hires you? The court hires me, basically, really, the parties hire me and the court orders it, but it’s really the parties and and I have a standard contract, just like you did when you sign up for your lawyer, I asked for a retainer. And I work out of the retainer just like those people.

Jackie Critzer 18:33
What if one person says they’re not paying?

Scott Cardani 18:36
That can be a mess, and I’ve had people pay the other side, and then just bring it up in the divorce and try to figure it out that way. I’ve had other people file motions. And but unless the judge says otherwise, my job as guardian litem is your collect fee equally from both parties. And I expect that and if I don’t get communication, quite frankly, I wonder what’s going on that this person thinks they have? Excuse me, the ability to stub their nose a court order and just not pay me.

Jackie Critzer 19:12
I mean, we have people who disobeyed laws and court orders all the time.

Scott Cardani 19:16
Let me say some other because it’s really important. Behavior matters to a guardian litem, and to a court and to a court. So when I see you in court, as a guardian litem, and a parent acting a fool, and no respect, no restraint and for the judge, and none of this, I think, Whoa, wonder what’s going on in the home. When Nobody’s there watching.

Jackie Critzer 19:37
If you’re doing this in a court, in front of a judge with deputies and attorneys and all this what’s going on behind closed doors?

Scott Cardani 19:43
Same thing with payment. You know, somebody calls me says, Hey, I don’t have the money to pay you. I don’t know what I’m going to do. That’s a lot different than Screw you. I’m not paying that bill. Because that tells me it starts to make me question whether they’re going to follow any kind of order we would enter how they’re gonna how they’re gonna make obtain those kinds of things. And that’s an important function, quite frankly.

Jackie Critzer 20:03
Alright. Scott, as a guardian ad litem, can you be both a guardian ad litem in the same case that your lawyer? No, no. And what can you not do as a guardian ad litem, maybe the better question is, what are your limitations? I think I like what can you not do? What are you prohibited from doing as a guardian ad litem?

Scott Cardani 20:22
I don’t know. I can’t really think of anything, honestly. I mean, I can subpoena I can ask questions. I can interrogate witnesses. I can do depositions. All the things normal. I’m a lawyer. So I have all the rights and privileges. I think the difference is, as a guardian litem, you don’t have quite the standard of confidentiality.

Jackie Critzer 20:41
That’s where I was heading.

Scott Cardani 20:42
Yeah. That you do with like, Jackie, if she’s representing mom, she, her duty of confidentiality is extreme, huge. Mine is a little different. Although there’s a caveat to that. But I have to deal with in the best interest of the child. And sometimes I have to spill the beans about a situation because it’s such a dangerous situation that my client may be at risk.

Jackie Critzer 21:08
But who is your duty of confidentiality, to?

Scott Cardani 21:15
Honestly don’t really think of it that way? I think it’s to my client with a caveat that I have to be, I have to present their best interest to the court. So sometimes that’s that’s the, that’s the buffer for me.

Jackie Critzer 21:27
But, if one of the lawyers tells you something about their client, or about a teacher or something that happened in school, do you have a duty to be to remain confidential with that attorney or that party?

Scott Cardani 21:39
Not necessarily, not usually.

Jackie Critzer 21:42
So a lot of times I tell my clients, just be aware that they don’t have a duty to protect the information that you give them. Not to withhold information intentionally not to hide or sneak. Because if a guardian finds out that you’re lying about something, or hiding something, or you were not honest, and I mean by not omitting so I don’t mean, just like no, I didn’t say it didn’t happen. I just didn’t tell you about if you omit something very important, you could really run into problems with your guardian. But I do emphatically remind people that they do not they the guardian does not have a duty of confidentiality, to that client, to the other parent, to the teachers. That their their job is to go in and really investigate the case as it’s unfolding. Not to protect information that’s coming in from different parties.

Scott Cardani 22:32
And I think another kind of red flag and things I’ve seen over the years. Unfortunately, when you’ve done this a long time. There are some very inappropriate Guardian Ad Litems, and I think they cross boundaries. I think there’s all kinds of things. I mean, like, should I be, should you be going to lunch with the Guardian Ad Litem? That should be a big red flag to you that something’s not right.

Jackie Critzer 22:53
A lawyer or the party?

Scott Cardani 22:54
The party. I’ve seen that I’ve seen, you know, why don’t we meet at, you know, this time, or in this place, or, you know, just crazy things like that. You know, I think sometimes total power goes to the head a little too far. And it’s a sad situation, because we are really, my job is to stay pretty neutral with either party. Now I can draw conclusion or an opinion of that party based on their behavior. But my initial reaction is to stay pretty neutral. And it’s been funny, I’ve had some conversation with some people screaming and bawling me out on the phone, I kind of stop and say, Do you realize what my job is? And it’s funny, I, I try not to hold that against people, because I realize they’re in a very emotional situation. And it’s, it’s their life. So I tried to be pretty leather skin, but at the same time, I’m thinking to myself, this is the one person who can really help them.

Jackie Critzer 23:52

Scott Cardani 23:53
And they’re making these kinds of decisions to call me names. And again, I guess what I’m saying, if you believe there’s some hinky going on, go talk to your lawyer and let them handle it. Don’t try to do it yourself. Because you come off wrong. That’s just all there is to it.

Jackie Critzer 24:12
Every time.

Scott Cardani 24:13
You let your lawyer be the bad guy, don’t become the bad guy. I mean, again, I just even really, for instance, say and this is a stupid example, but don’t think it didn’t ever happen. But, for instance, say your lawyer says, Hey, why don’t you and I go to your old life says to the mom, why don’t you and I go to lunch? And we can talk about your case? I’ll pay. You know, the right answer isn’t to go. I can’t believe you do. And I know that you’re inappropriate, but no, you go no, thank you. And you call your attorney.

Jackie Critzer 24:44

Scott Cardani 24:45
That sob just asked me to lunch. And I think he wanted more than lunch.

Jackie Critzer 24:49
And do you think it be appropriate I mean, I do if my client called me and said that their guardian ad litem asked them to lunch male, female, purple polka dot doesn’t matter to me. I would very promptly file a motion to relieve the guardian ad litem and appoint someone new. And I don’t do that that is a general practice that I avoid because it strains the relationship between the attorneys and The Guardian Ad Litem. As well as the guardian litem and the parties if there aren’t good reasons for the for having the Guardian removed. But I think in that situation, it would be I’d be hard pressed to call the attorney did call the guardian ad litem first I would I would probably file the motion first. And thankfully in 17 years, I haven’t faced that.

Scott Cardani 25:30
Well, I’ll tell you, what makes it difficult is Guardian litem serve at a very minimal cost. Number one. I mean, we’re we’re lawyers getting paid $55 an hour. I mean, that may sound like to the electrician, that’s a lot of money. But when we pay our overhead and all the things that we have to deal with, it’s really not a lot. Not a lot of money.

Jackie Critzer 25:50
Routine work pays a lot more.

Scott Cardani 25:51
Yeah. So the point is, the courts kind of get that, that we’re offering a service to the court. And you build up credibility with the court over years of doing this. And the court can learn on this is this guy trust, because he’s never lied to me before. So when you have somebody that’s built a lot of equity with the court, a lot of trust for the court, and you don’t like them, that can be a real problem. To even get that person off. I’ve had I’ve watched cases even asked been involved where the Guardian has been asking me removed and the courts like, well, I’ve known this attorney for 14 years, and he served me well. I’m just not buying what you’re selling.

Jackie Critzer 26:32
And that and that. See, but then now. And on the backside of that now, you as the guardian have talked about a difficult situation to be in, somebody has asked you to be removed, either a party or their attorney. And the judge says I’m not doing it. I mean, how do you handle that as the guardian?

Scott Cardani 26:50
Yeah, it really, I firmly believe a lot of people get an attitude about that. And then your you as the client who’s asked for that are not going to have a good recommendation for The Guardian litem. It’s unfortunate, but that’s what I believe.

Jackie Critzer 27:02
I mean, maybe not every Guardian is going to do that. But you have to be aware that it could happen.

Scott Cardani 27:08
It’s in the back of people’s mind whether you like it or not. But I mean, I sat in the courtroom one time where it was the exact situation I was talking to you before. The attorney representing a certain party had one of the requests that I beat all the meetings. Right. So the Guardian Ad Litem this was a very infant child. So the Guardian light had made his initial face to face interaction, the case had kind of taken a different turn with some things that really had nothing to do with the child. And so there was a lot interaction between the Guardian litem and the two attorneys. So as this guardian ad litem came to court, the other attorney filed a motion saying, well – you have only talked to my client one time. Filed a motion based on the lack of communication, which there’s a because of the code and what we’re supposed to as guardian ad litems, there’s a basis for that. I think it was a really poorly done, because it wasn’t a case where that needed to be done as much. And it didn’t really matter. It wasn’t that that attorney wasn’t communicating, The Guardian ad litem wasn’t communicating, it wasn’t getting facts and evidence regularly and doing his job. He just had because of the circumstance because of the barrier, sort of the attorney had put in there by you got to go through me. He just went to him to get the information he needed. And this was a case where it like I said, nobody was nobody was contesting the home. Nobody was contesting the conditions the kids are living under. That wasn’t the issues in the case. So going to mom’s home three times didn’t really matter.

Jackie Critzer 28:37
Sure, sure.

Scott Cardani 28:38
You know, but I thought, Man that was poor form. You know, and so, I don’t know. But I mean, it’s really hard to get a guardian litem removed, it’s very rarely done, you better have some good reasoning, and it can’t be because I don’t like him.

Jackie Critzer 28:53
Personality conflict is not a good enough reason to have a guardian removed.

Scott Cardani 28:57
Quite frankly, they’re representing your child, you should do everything you can to avoid a personality conflict. You’re an adult. Do your best. I know it’s hard. I know some guardian ad litems are super arrogant, super prickly, and all that kind of stuff. But man, just just take the high road. That’s my biggest advice. take the high road, communicate your issues with your attorney. Let them decide. If it’s gotten to the level where there needs to set me something happen, but don’t you engage it. It won’t help. It does not help your case.

Jackie Critzer 29:30
Well, in next time, or on another podcast, I want to get into how a guardian ad litem is involved in a Child Protective Services case. How that’s different from just a custody battle between maybe parents or grandparents or interested third parties with the parents whatever the custody battle is. And, also how a guardian ad litems role could be different in a Child Protective Services case.

Scott Cardani 29:53
Thank you all for listening.

Jackie Critzer 29:54
Thank you.

Outro 29:55
We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of what to do when for more episodes, be sure sure to subscribe to our podcast and we encourage you to check our archives to listen to previous topics Tune in next week for a new episode and some fresh perspective from Critzer Cardani.

We look forward to helping you in this venture and Good Luck!

Jackie Critzer and Scott Cardani What To Do When... you are assigned a Guardian Ad Litem