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Guardian ad Litem

Oklahoma Laws provide for the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) in family law matters to assist the Court in making custody determinations. The GAL will complete an investigation for the Court and provide a written report with a recommendation as to Custody and Visitation of a minor child. The key consideration is what would be in the best interest of a minor child.

Title 43 O.S.107.3

1.) In any proceeding when the custody or visitation of a minor child or children is contested by any party, the court may appoint an attorney at law as guardian ad litem upon motion of the court or upon application of any party to appear for and represent the minor children.

2. The guardian ad litem may be appointed to objectively advocate on behalf of the child and act as an officer of the court to investigate all matters concerning the best interests of the child. In addition to other duties required by the court and as specified by the court, a guardian ad litem shall have the following responsibilities:

a. review documents, reports, records and other information relevant to the case, meet with and observe the child in appropriate settings, and interview parents, caregivers and health care providers and any other person with knowledge relevant to the case including, but not limited to, teachers, counselors and child care providers,
b. advocate for the best interests of the child by participating in the case, attending any hearings in the matter and advocating for appropriate services for the child when necessary,
c. monitor the best interests of the child throughout any judicial proceeding,
d. present written reports to the parties and court prior to trial or at any other time as specified by the court on the best interests of the child that include conclusions and recommendations and the facts upon which they are based, and
e. the guardian ad litem shall, as much as possible, maintain confidentiality of information related to the case and is not subject to discovery pursuant to the Oklahoma Discovery Code.

3. Expenses, costs, and attorney fees for the guardian ad litem may be allocated among the parties as determined by the court.