Guardianship - Guardian ad Litem
Learn about guardianship laws in Georgia and Guardian ad Litem services.
What is Guardianship?
Guardianship is a legal term and a process through which a person(s) seeks court appointment to become the legal caretaker for another person (ward). Guardianship legally enables the guardian to make decisions for the other person. The purpose of a guardian is to fulfill a role that acts in the best interests of the ward (other person). The State of Georgia recognizes options for Temporary Guardianship and Permanent Guardianship.
Guardianship is often used to enable someone to take care of minor children, mentally or physically disabled. An example would be minor children who lose their parents and their grandparents are given guardianship to assume parental rights and responsibilities.
When a person(s) is deemed to be in need of a guardian there may be multiple prospective guardians. An example is two sets of grandparents, each set wanting to be assigned as guardians of thier mutual grandchildren. In some cases a proposed ward can contest any guardianship.
If you are in circumstances where guardianship is being discussed you should contact a guardianship lawyer as soon as possible.
Guardian ad Litem
What is a Guardian ad Litem?
A Guardian ad Litem serves the court by assessing matters involving the health, safety, welfare and best interests of a child who may need a guardian. A Guardian ad Litem may look into the child's familial background, , living conditions, family relationships, known history of abuse, neglect and special needs. The goal of a Guardian ad Litem is to advise the court of their informed decision regarding recommendations for visitation, custody and care that best serves the interests of the child(ren).
The State of Georgia has an Office of the Child Advocate which oversees Guardian ad Litem matters in Georgia. Specifically, the OCA provides independent oversight of persons, organizations, and agencies responsible for providing services to or caring for children who are victims of child abuse and neglect or whose domestic situation requires intervention by the State. You may visit the following link to learn more about Guardian ad Litem (Juvenile Court Dependency proceedings)