Guardians ad Litem

Family Law Cases

A Guardian ad litem is a person appointed by the Court to investigate and report factual information to the Court regarding parenting arrangements and what is in the best interests of children. Thurston County Family Law guardians ad litem must have a Bachelor’s Degree and experience working with children and families. Additionally, the state of Washington requires that all guardians ad litem be trained on a curriculum developed by Washington’s Administrative Office of the Courts. Appointments are made from the Court’s Guardian ad Litem Registry on a rotational basis.

A guardian ad litem reviews the court file, meets with each parent, contacts others who have information related to the parents or children, and may meet with the children. In some cases a guardian ad litem will want to make a home visit.

Fees are charged for work done by guardians ad litem. Each guardian ad litem’s rates are posted on the Guardian ad Litem Registry. Some public funds are available to pay for a guardian ad litem if the parents are unable to pay. The Court also employs a Family Court Investigator to serve as a guardian ad litem in particular cases for people who are unable to pay.

Guardianship Cases

A Guardian ad litem is a person appointed by the Court to investigate and report factual information to the Court regarding whether a person is incapacitated to such a degree that he or she cannot care for himself or herself or his or her estate and whether the proposed Guardian would be appropriate. The state of Washington requires that all guardians ad litem be trained on a curriculum developed by Washington’s Administrative Office of the Courts. Appointments are made from the Court’s Guardian ad Litem Registry on a rotational basis.

A guardian ad litem personally meets with the alleged incapacitated person, determines whether the person desires or needs to be represented by an attorney, obtains a written report from a medical professional defined by RCW 11.88.045 regarding capacity, consults with others who have information related to the alleged incapacitated person, and meets with the proposed Guardian.

Fees are charged for work done by guardians ad litem. Each guardian ad litem’s rates are posted on the Guardian ad Litem Registry. Public funds are available to pay for a guardian ad litem if the alleged incapacitated person lacks funds or an estate to pay.

Upcoming Training Events

Title 26 Guardian ad Litem Training
CLE Credits are pending approval

Domestic Violence Training - "Evaluating Domestic Violence in Family Law Custody Cases"
CLE Credits are pending approval

*Updated information and registration detail will be posted in December*