What is a guardian ad litem? - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

What is a guardian ad litem?

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Atlanta-based My Advocate Center's Deb Beacham said it's a seemingly simple assignment that oftentimes becomes skewed.

"Many of these cases, frankly, the children wound up with the parent most likely to cause stress or injury to the child," Beacham said.

Beacham said that's not to say all guardian ad litems are bad.

"They're research analysts," she said. "They get to look at the daily lives of the children, how the children function when they're with one parent compared to the other."

She said attorneys can request one for their clients, and oftentimes, the judge can appoint one at their discretion.

But Beacham said there aren't a lot of requirements or training involved.

Guardians don't have to be an attorney or have a psychology background.

"There's no consistency of the training, or credentials, for a guardian ad litem from county to county, so we're looking at that. There's no objective standard on how each parent is evaluated, to counter-balance the subjective reports presented to the courts."

Atlanta lawyer Lisa West released this statement about guardian ad litems:

"Unfortunately, such instances of tainted investigations by guardians ad litem are not uncommon. And, the effects of these investigations can be absolutely devastating - - from children of sexual abuse being placed squarely into the hands of their abusers to children being ripped from the arms of their primary caretaker forever. There is no doubt that the guardian ad litem system must undergo a complete overhaul."

For more resources, head over to the My Advocate Center website.

Copyright 2014 WFXG. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Trump leads aggressive, all-out GOP drive to save Kavanaugh

    Trump leads aggressive, all-out GOP drive to save Kavanaugh

    Monday, September 24 2018 2:52 AM EDT2018-09-24 06:52:33 GMT
    Monday, September 24 2018 8:53 PM EDT2018-09-25 00:53:59 GMT
    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta). FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Combat won out over caution. White House aides and congressio...(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta). FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Combat won out over caution. White House aides and congressio...

    The new accusation came just a few hours after negotiators had reached an agreement to hold a public hearing Thursday for Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses him of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers.

    More >>

    The new accusation came just a few hours after negotiators had reached an agreement to hold a public hearing Thursday for Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses him of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers.

    More >>
  • Kavanaugh makes defense in Fox News interview

    Kavanaugh makes defense in Fox News interview

    Monday, September 24 2018 8:52 PM EDT2018-09-25 00:52:05 GMT
    Brett Kavanaugh, with his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, answers questions during a FOX News interview, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Washington, about allegations of sexual misconduct against the Supreme Court nominee. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)Brett Kavanaugh, with his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, answers questions during a FOX News interview, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, in Washington, about allegations of sexual misconduct against the Supreme Court nominee. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

    Brett Kavanaugh said he was "not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process" on Monday night in a Fox News interview.

    More >>

    Brett Kavanaugh said he was "not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process" on Monday night in a Fox News interview.

    More >>
  • Child shot in Warrenville

    Child shot in Warrenville

    Monday, September 24 2018 8:16 PM EDT2018-09-25 00:16:45 GMT
    Scene in Warrenville where child was accidentally shot 9/24/18 (WFXG)Scene in Warrenville where child was accidentally shot 9/24/18 (WFXG)

    The Aiken County Sheriff's Office is investigating an accidental shooting in Warrenville. According to Capt. Eric Abdullah with the sheriff's office, a child was shot on Oxpens Rd. Monday evening.

    More >>

    The Aiken County Sheriff's Office is investigating an accidental shooting in Warrenville. According to Capt. Eric Abdullah with the sheriff's office, a child was shot on Oxpens Rd. Monday evening.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly