In Massachusetts, child custody cases are decided based on the best interests of the child. Deciding what is in the best interests of a child can be a difficult task for judges and families. When a judge needs more information and insight into a situation involving the welfare, custody, or parenting plan for a child, a Guardian Ad Litem can be a valuable resource. Attorney Purtell has extensive experience serving as a Guardian Ad Litem and is often appointed by the Probate Courts. A Guardian Ad Litem conducts an impartial investigation and presents a detailed report to the Court in order to assist the judge in making decisions regarding a child. The Law Office of Rosemary Purtell provides trustworthy, impartial, and reliable Guardian Ad Litem services for Massachusetts families and will also advise clients who are participating in Guardian Ad Litem investigations.
The Role of a Guardian Ad Litem
It is important for families to understand that a Guardian Ad Litem does not work for one parent. The Guardian Ad Litem may be agreed upon by the parties or may be appointed by the Court, either at the request of one or both parties or on the Court’s own action. The Guardian Ad Litem will make recommendations to the Court based upon his/her investigation. These recommendations are usually about custody and a parenting plan but may involve additional specific issues such as educational choices or whether one parent should be permitted to move with a child beyond Massachusetts, all depending on the instruction of the Court.
Guardian Ad Litem Investigations
Part of a Guardian Ad Litem’s investigative procedures include interviewing the parties, the children, those close to the children and family, including family friends, teachers, medical providers, and individuals involved in a child’s extracurricular activities. The investigation may also entail investigating parents’ backgrounds. A Guardian Ad Litem may also review school records, medical records, police records, records from the Department of Children and Families, and day care records. After all interviews are done and all relevant issues are fully investigated, the Guardian Ad Litem will prepare a report that is filed with and reviewed by the Court.
This professional service requires objectivity, thoroughness, and a focus on the purpose at hand. Attorney Purtell has the experience needed to ensure that her Guardian Ad Litem services are impartial, complete and in compliance with Standards, Her experience also allows her to assist clients whom she represents navigate the Guardian Ad Litem process.