FAMILY COURT GUARDIAN AD LITEM (GAL)
WHAT IS A GUARDIAN AD LITEM?
A Guardian Ad Litem or (GAL) is a licensed or certified professional (usually an attorney), appointed by a Family Court Judge and hired by the Parent(s) to advocate for the wellbeing and best interests of Child(ren) involved in Family Court Matters. A GAL works FOR the Child(ren); not the Court, Parents, or a "side." A GAL conducts an investigation, speaking with Parents, Teachers, Coaches, and the Child(ren) to create a working program that benefits the Child(ren) best. This program is then communicated to the Court in the form of a "GAL Report,"which gives the Court independent guidance on how issues involving the Child(ren) should be handled. This report is often given great "weight" in the Court's decisions regarding the Child(ren) at issue.
A Guardian Ad Litem "is not neutral, but impartial to the interests of the Parents." A good GAL is the Child's should work as the voice of a child when the Parents, Family, and other interested parties are largely thinking about their own interests.
Our practicing Guardian Ad Litem is Co-Founder Malik Leigh, Esq. His dedication to the interest of Children is well documented within the State of Florida. As one of the ONLY Black AND Male GALs in Florida (taking appointments in South Florida only currently), he understands and appreciates the added benefits of having a GAL that can identify with unique cultural nuances that exist within Black, Indigenous, and Latino families.
A GAL is used in Family Law cases where abuse and/or neglect is alleged or suspected. Because the GAL must truly "get to know" the minor Child(ren) at issue, in many cases, cultural, gender (male/female), and ethnic connections are often extremely beneficial in reaching a complete investigation that benefits the Child(ren) the most. South Florida (and the broader state of Florida as a whole) has a severe lack of Black Male GALs. For this reason, Watson Leigh has decided to take a much more open approach to GAL appointment requests.
If you live in Northern Miami-Dade, Broward, or Eastern Palm Beach County, and you are in need of a dedicated Guardian Ad Litem that you think can positively benefit your Family Law related case (not accepting Dependency Appointments), contact us TODAY.
Click HERE to Contact Watson Leigh for appointment availability.
*Subject line "GAL," or faster connection through the CHAT below.
Family Guardian Ad Litem Fees:
GAL Retainer: $2000.00
Hourly Rate: $200.00
*Typically, fees are split between parents (parties)