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Guardian ad Litem Success Story 10

Guardian ad Litem’s report and recommendations allowed child to have safe parenting time with both parents.

Kids’ Voice was appointed by the Marion Circuit Court, Paternity Division, to serve as Guardian ad Litem (GAL) for 8-year-old Carmen. Carmen’s father, David, was in and out of her life. When Carmen lived with her mother, Maria, there were concerns that Carmen was being sexually abused by one of Maria’s boyfriends. Maria also moved frequently and did not have  appropriate housing for herself and Carmen. Carmen’s great-grandfather William had third-party custody of Carmen. Andrea, the Kids’ Voice attorney, assigned Carmen’s case to a GAL who specialized in family law cases. The GAL learned that William was advanced in age and had health concerns. He also did not get along well with Maria or David, and there were many disagreements regarding parenting time and Carmen’s communication with the parents.

As the GAL’s investigation continued, it became apparent that long-term placement with William was not in Carmen’s best interests. Through the course of the GAL’s investigation, the GAL became aware of other potential caregivers, Carmen’s uncle and aunt, Diego and Eliza. Diego and Eliza had recently adopted Carmen’s cousin, who was a year older than Carmen. Diego and Eliza were able and willing to take custody of Carmen.

The GAL met with Diego and Eliza, and informed them of the hearing date in Carmen’s case. Diego and Eliza intervened in Carmen’s case and, in accordance with the GAL’s report and recommendations, the Court granted custody of Carmen to them. Diego and Eliza were able to coordinate better with David and Maria to ensure that Carmen was able to have parenting time with both parents, while making sure that Carmen was safe.