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What Is a Guardian ad litem? Definition, Uses and Importance.

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Latin for “guardian at law.” The person appointed by the court to look out for the best interests of the child during legal proceedings.

As contrast to a guardian, who would be responsible for the ward’s legal affairs, a guardian ad litem is an individual who is appointed by the court to manage the affairs of the ward in relation to one or more specific legal proceedings or aspects of litigation.

Guardians ad litem are often appointed by courts to represent the interests of children in matters involving adoption, child custody, child support, divorce, the emancipation of minors, and visiting rights. Most often, in these cases, they serve as fact-finders for the court rather than advocates on behalf of the children.

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