Serving all of Puget Sound

Title 26 Family Court Guardian ad Litem (GAL)

A Title 26 guardian ad litem (GAL) is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a vulnerable or underage individual for a specific purpose, for a specific period of time. Under the direction of the court, a GAL performs an investigation and prepares a report.

There are different types of child custody disputes.  Family Law GALs may be appointed in the following five types:

  1. Dissolution: the parents are getting a divorce and a parenting plan must be ordered by the court.
  2. Paternity: the parents are not married, and a parenting plan must be ordered by the court.
  3. Modification: a parenting plan was ordered by the court in the past, but one or both parties are seeking to change the parenting plan.
  4. Relocation: one of the parents is seeking to move the child to a new location.
  5. Third Party Custody: someone who is not a parent has petitioned the court for custody, i.e., grandparent or relative.

While each type of child custody dispute differs from the rest, two factors remain constant for GALs. Family Law GALs are generally appointed in high conflict cases and the court needs additional information from a neutral source.

The parties are typically struggling through very difficult child custody disputes that generate intense and painful emotions. Emotions can become so intense that the parties are unable to think or communicate rationally at times. Complex issues related to temporary or lifelong mental health issues might generate additional conflict between the parties or confusion for the court. Concerns about domestic violence, child abuse or neglect might come into question. Substance abuse issues might concern or confuse the court.

In short, child custody disputes involve families in varying degrees of crisis. The court appoints a GAL to gather the additional information it needs to make a decision, write and report, and testify in court as to the findings and the best interest of the underage individual.

Contact us today for more information about our family court guardian ad litem (GAL) services.

Home| Services | Testimonials|Resources| About | Contact

The Patrick Group
(253) 331-3358


1911 SW Campus Drive Suite 458, Federal Way, WA 98023

© Copyright , The Patrick Group, All rights reserved. Website Design, Hosting and Maintenance by New Tech Web, Inc.