In difficult child custody matters, the Court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to look out for the interests of the children and be their voice in court. Guardians receive training in child developmental psychology as well as appropriate interviewing techniques to use when speaking to children, depending on their age. When a Guardian is appointed to investigate, they stay in the case until a final resolution on custody can be reached. This means a Guardian is often called to testify about the relationship between two parents and the effect that has on children, as well as advocating for children's needs.
Sometimes a child wants to live with a particular parent because that parent allows them to stay up late playing video games, but sometimes, the reason is more important than that, such as having a parent who is more emotionally receptive to their needs or a parent who understands their treatment plans when children need medical or psychological support. Whatever the reason, it is the Guardian's job to sift through the nonsense and assist the Court with making a custody determination that is the best it could possibly be for the children involved. Managing Partner Nicole Crites has over a decade of experience being the voice of children in courtrooms, having started many moons ago representing the interest of children who have been abused or neglected. Nowadays, she spends her time advocating for children in divorce and child custody matters, but has never forgotten the lessons her early experiences taught her about how critical the role parents have in their children's lives.