One of the most difficult things about custody cases is dealing with the Guardian ad Litem. A Guardian ad Litem (or GAL) is an attorney appointed to represent the best interests of the child to the court. So, in many custody cases, there are three, not two, attorneys involved—one for mom, one for dad, and one for the child.
When Caitlin Walters came to work at Hofheimer Family Law, she had worked as a Guardian ad Litem and had represented children in a number of complicated custody cases. It is incredibly beneficial for us to have Caitlin’s wealth of knowledge about dealing with GALs in custody cases.
In most custody cases, the GAL is responsible for speaking with both parents, making home visits, meeting with the child, and, ultimately, making a recommendation to the court about what should happen with respect to custody based on the statutory best interests of the child factors. It’s a really powerful role!
As a mother involved in a custody case, it can be really difficult to navigate the relationship with the Guardian ad Litem. Because the GAL isn’t your attorney, even though you’re probably paying for half of her legal fees, it’s hard not to feel like there’s some kind of relationship there. Many women make the mistake of telling the GAL far too much and even bashing their child’s father in front of the GAL.
Caitlin has a wealth of knowledge about how to deal with complicated custody cases, and is incredibly valuable in aiding our clients as they navigate the tricky GAL relationship. Because of her perspective from being on the other side of the case, she can offer fresh insights and give interesting and enlightening advice—advice that can sometimes make the difference between winning and losing a case.
Caitlin is a knowledgeable and effective advocate for Virginia moms. She is a skilled negotiator and is equally comfortable in a courtroom in front of the judge as she is drafting legal contracts and documents designed to carefully protect her client’s present and future situations. She’s also experienced in handling divorce cases, including cases with extensive, complicated property distribution as well as custody issues.
For more information on Caitlin Walters and to view her full bio, click here.