In New York a Guardian Ad Litem (“GAL”) can be appointed to represent the interests of a child in a Divorce or Custody proceeding. The GAL is usually a lawyer who is subject to ethics rules. The Guardian Ad Litem can also act as the Attorney for the Child and appear in Court to file motions and question witnesses on behalf of the child. Oftentimes the GAL must substitute their own opinion for a minor child who is too immature to voice an opinion.
The GAL is supposed to protect a child’s interests and help them express their wishes. Although an AFC “must zealously advocate the child’s position” an exception exists where the AFC “is convinced that following the child’s wishes is likely to result in a substantial risk of imminent, serious harm to the child” Matter of Lopez v Lugo , 115 A.D.3d 1237 (2014), citing, 22 NYCRR 7.2 [d, d3].
If you are interested in knowing more about how to request a GAL be appointed in your case or other divorce and family law needs reach out to Diana Mohyi Attorney at Law.