When you get divorced in Florida
and children are involved, you and your soon-to-be ex may have very different ideas about how both the parenting plan and timesharing arrangements should be drafted. Despite many efforts, you may not be able to reach an agreement on how to “share
” and care for your children going forward.
In these cases, either you, your co-parent, or the court system may request that a Guardian ad Litem (referred to as a GAL) be appointed to evaluate the entire situation and come up with a suggested parenting plan and timesharing arrangement.
Read more about Florida laws surrounding GALs here.
The GAL is responsible for writing up recommendations and then later presents a GAL Report to both parties and the court. And, while the court does is not required to adopt the recommendations of the GAL, it usually does the vast majority of the time.
Here is some information regarding GALs and what they do . . .
A GAL’s primary goal is to provide recommendations for a parenting plan and timesharing agreement of the child(ren) involved in the case.
Once you and your co-parent agree on or the Court appoints a GAL the GAL will conduct in-person and telephone interviews of the child, each parent, and each listed reference and witness.
The GAL may also choose to interview the child(ren)’s teachers, caretakers, and/or anyone else the GAL feels may assist in determining the child(ren)’s best interests.
Taking into consideration everything the GAL has learned and witnessed, he or she will then prepare recommendations for a parenting plan and timesharing agreement that he or she feels is in the best interest of the child(ren).
A formal report is presented to the parties and to the court. The court will take the report into consideration and may choose to adopt it in full, in part, or not at all.