New Hampshire Guardian ad Litem Law

What is a Guardian ad Litem in new Hampshire?

In a family law case involving children, the court of New Hampshire will always work to determine what ruling would be in the best interest of the child. When divorces are contested, many issues regarding parental rights and responsibilities could be raised. In some cases it will be necessary for someone to be appointed as an advocate for the children themselves. This person is called a guardian ad litem or GAL and they are appointed by the court to represent the best interest of the child or children.

A guardian ad litem can be requested by either the Court, or one or both of the parties involved. In  most cases, the GAL will meet with the child to discuss specific issues. The GAL will also meet with the parents and interview other important people in the child's life.  GAL's can be for the following types of legal proceedings:

  • Divorce
  • Separation
  • Annulment
  • Paternity
  • Determination of parental rights and responsibilities

A GAL can provide the Court and the parties with valuable insight regarding what is in the children's best interest.  The Guardian will write a report that informs the Court and the parties what his or her recommendations are, these can include, parenting time schedules, the need for counseling for the child and/or the need for co-parent counseling for the parties.

If you are going through a divorce or a parenting case and would like to know more about guardian ad litems, call us now.

New Hampshire Guardian ad Litem Law

Under RSA 461-A:16, the person who serves as a guardian ad litem work to determine what will be in best interest of the child in all circumstances. The communication between the guardian and the child is to be kept private and the findings of the GAL are only allowed to be used for giving a recommendation in court. Additionally, when a child's "ability to make adequately considered decisions" is impaired due to mental disability or for another reason, the GAL will be the person who has the authority to waive the child's privilege to offer their opinion but only if the GAL reasonably believes that the child cannot express their own interests.

The person who will serve as a GAL will be appointed by the court after they complete a special training program. In New Hampshire, guardian ad litems are required to be certified before they will be appointed to a case. Also, the fee for using a guardian will be charged to the parents.