Additional Case Types

OCR attorneys represent the interests of children in dependency and neglect (child abuse), delinquency, domestic relations, adoption, truancy, probate, mental health, and paternity cases. The attorney’s role and duties are dependent upon the case type in which the attorney is appointed and the role the attorney serves in that case. Please click on the individual case types below to learn more about the role of the guardian ad litem (GAL) in each case.

The Court may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) in an adoption/relinquishment proceeding when:

there is a conflict of interest between the child and his/her parent or guardian, or

the appointment is otherwise in the child’s best interest or welfare.

The GAL’s appointment ends when the court enters the final decree of adoption.

The OCR oversees state-paid GAL services in adoption and relinquishment proceedings when the court finds that one or more of the parties is indigent.  OCR pays the state-paid GAL as apportioned by the indigency finding.

The court must appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) in any civil suit in which a minor (under 18 years of age) is a plaintiff or defendant.

The OCR oversees state-paid GAL services in civil proceedings when the court finds that one or more of the parties is indigent.  OCR pays the state-paid GAL as apportioned by the indigency finding.

The court must appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the child’s best interests when an application for hospitalization is made to the court on behalf of a minor under the age of 15, who is in need of care and treatment due to mental illness.

The OCR oversees all GALs appointed in mental health cases and is responsible for payment of the GAL’s fees in accordance with the OCR’s Billing Policies and Procedures.

The court may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) for a child in a paternity action. The child’s mother or father may not represent the child.  While the GAL is not a party to the paternity action, s/he represents the child’s best interests.

The GAL’s appointment ends once the court determines paternity and enters permanent orders regarding parental responsibility and/or child support.

The OCR oversees state-paid GAL services in paternity proceedings when the court finds that one or more of the parties is indigent.  OCR pays the state-paid GAL as apportioned by the indigency finding.  In addition, the parties may be responsible for the costs of the GAL as ordered by the court.

The court may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) in a probate case if the court determines that the representation of the child’s interests would otherwise be inadequate.

The OCR oversees state-paid GAL services in probate guardianship and conservatorship proceedings when the court finds one or more of the parties is indigent.  OCR pays the state-paid GAL as apportioned by the indigency finding.

The court may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) for a child in proceedings under the school attendance law if the court finds that the GAL appointment is in the best interest and welfare of the child.  The GAL is not a party to the action, but is entitled to information concerning the truancy process and must advocate for the child’s best interests.