How to Remove Your Guardian ad Litem

Posted on Jul 12, 2017 by Katie Carter

Everyone hates their Guardian ad litem.  Everyone.  And, at some point, almost everyone asks how they can have their Guardian ad litem removed.

I hear all the time that they’re totally biased.  That the GAL is probably sleeping with the child’s father.  (True story, I’ve heard that!)  That they aren’t doing their job.  That they refuse to talk to mom.  That they won’t do home visits.  That they have interrogated mom and had nothing to do with dad.  That they’re, basically, the absolute dumbest people on the face of the planet.

And, so, obviously, they should be removed.  Right?

Well, okay, maybe.  Except, really, that’s not possible.  Though there is a protocol for removing a oner you accept that you WILL NOT be able to remove your Guardian ad litem, the better.  If you were to institute any kind of proceedings to get your Guardian ad litem removed from the case, you would almost certainly find that the judge allows the GAL to continue and, instead of improving your situation, you will have dramatically worGuardian ad litem (as in, theoretically, it is possible), it never, ever works out well.  No matter how passionately you dislike and distrust the Guardian ad litem who has been appointed in your case, you’re going to have to learn to work with him or her.  You don’t have to like it, but you’re going to have to do it.  There’s not really any ifs, ands, or buts about it.

You think your Guardian ad litem hates you now?  Think of how she would feel about you if you tried to make it appear as though she wasn’t doing her job in front of a judge.  Perhaps the saying should have been “hell hath no fury like a GAL scorned.”

There’s no question it’s difficult to work with a GAL.  It’s not fun.  They’re literally there just to judge you, and that’s never a fun feeling, especially if you’ve already gotten off on the wrong foot.  You’re going to have to make it work, though, because your GAL isn’t going anywhere.  In fact, quite the opposite.

If you come back to court, even after the conclusion of this case, your same GAL will likely be re-appointed in your case.  Again.  And again.  Unless, of course, your GAL moves away or retires, you’ll very, very likely receive the same GAL again.  (According to the court’s logic, why bring in someone new when the first GAL already knows the lay of the land, so to speak?)

Since you can’t get rid of your GAL, you’ll want to learn how to work with a GAL as effectively as possible.

So maybe you didn’t get off on the right foot…  But that’s no reason to make matters worse, right?  Take the time now to figure out how to work with your GAL so that, moving forward, things start to proceed a little bit better.  A Guardian ad litem understands what you’re going through, and chances are they’ll be more than willing to revise their opinion of you if they feel that they judged you too hastily, or if you’ve made big changes to improve things.

So, what should you do to learn how to work better with your Guardian ad litem?

1. Learn how custody cases work in the Woman’s Custody Survival Guide.  The Woman’s Custody Survival Guide is full of information about custody cases in Virginia, so you’ll learn how to work with Guardian ad litems, for one thing, but also about the ten all-important custody factors, so you can start to understand what GALs are looking for, too.  That way, you can make sure that the decisions you’re making are good ones, so you’ll make a favorable impression.  To GALs, it isn’t personal; it’s all about the best interests of the child.  Whether the GAL really likes you or not, whether you’re interesting in promoting your child’s (or children’s) best interest is really what she wants to see.  So, show her.  This book will help show you how.(A tip: always say “our children,” not “my children.”)

2. Attend Custody Bootcamp for Moms.

Especially if you’re planning on representing yourself, you’ll need LOTS of information about custody cases in Virginia.  If you’ve already hired an attorney, you’ll want to check up on him to make sure that you’re comfortable with his advice.  (And, perhaps, to get a second opinion.)Our custody seminar for Virginia moms is intense.  Really, it’s designed to prepare you to represent yourself in a custody and visitation case at the juvenile court level, so there’s an insane amount of detail.  There’s nothing else like it!

The cost to attend Custody Bootcamp for Moms (it’s an all day seminar!) is less than the cost of one hour with a moderately priced local attorney; it’s just $197, and it includes a workbook, and hours and hours of intense preparation with a licensed local Virginia moms-only custody attorney.

For more information, or to request a copy of our free report, “Can I REALLY Represent Myself in my Virginia Custody Case?” click here, and fill out the form on the right hand side.

3. Request a copy of our free report, “Beware the GAL”.

There’s SO MUCH INFORMATION you need to know about custody cases that we also created some free reports for quick and easy reference.  If you’re working with a Guardian ad litem, you’ll want to request “Beware the GAL” to read about how to best work with one.

If you’re hoping to get rid of your GAL, give it up.  Let it go.  Find something else to invest your time, energy, and blood pressure points in.  Whatever it is, it’ll be more reasonable than the hope that you’ll somehow be able to remove your Guardian ad litem.  You won’t.   For more information about Virginia custody cases, or to schedule an appointment with any of our moms only custody attorneys, give our office a call at (757) 425-5200.