The topic of guardianship is an important one, especially when putting together your estate plan. Finding someone to be the guardian of your children is crucial to planning your life because you just never know when the plan might need to go into effect. An important term you need to know is guardian ad litem. So what is a guardian ad litem in California?
The most basic definition of guardian ad litem is a person who is appointed by the court to represent someone who is not of legal age to make decisions for themselves. In California, the age of majority is the age of 18. If the person is unmarried and still in high school, the age of majority is when the person completes the 12th grade or when he or she turns 19, whichever comes first.
The most common instances where a guardian ad litem is appointed are when the person under the age of majority is involved in a child custody case, has been the victim of child abuse or is involved in any other type of family law issue. When a child is involved in a probate case or is incapacitated, the court might also appoint a guardian ad litem.
The guardian ad litem is an important position because this person will speak on behalf of the child during legal proceedings. The person appointed must represent the best interests of the child and not either side of the court issue.
Guardian ad litem happens more often than you might think in California. Make sure you know what it is, especially if there's a chance you might be appointed as guardian ad litem in Fullerton by the courts.