Who owns the child? An analysis of the Guardian ad litem for children in divorce: Social and psychological considerations

William Halikias (1988)

The Guardian ad litem (GAL), who represents children of parents litigating custody and divorce, is viewed as a target for community-based services. However, appropriate services for this group depends first on a careful analysis of the circumstances surrounding divorce and child custody. These issues include dilemmas inherent in child advocacy, historical changes in the attitudes toward divorce and child custody, research on children in divorce, alternative custody arrangements, mediation, and a critique of custody evaluations by psychologists. Finally, the literature on GALs in child custody is reviewed. Based on these discussions an alternative to traditional custody evaluations and expert testimony is proposed, namely, consultative services outside the courtroom for GALs.