While the laws vary a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is in most or all States an attorney. The GAL’s role is to represent the best interests of the children as determined by the GAL through an investigation.
The GAL will investigate the facts, participate in negotiations, and take a position in court on legal custody and placement. The GAL is also involved in the financial issues of a case when those issues affect the children, such as child support and child expenses. The GAL does not have any of the rights or duties of a parent or general guardian.
Although the GAL may be incorrectly referred to as the children’s attorney, the GAL’s role is to advocate for the best interests of the children. This may not be the same as advocating for what the children want.