Paternity / Guardian ad Litem

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            If any children have been born to the wife during the course of the marriage, the law presumes that the husband is the father of those children.  In other words, the husband is the child(ren)'s legal father unless or until the Court determines otherwise.  If there is a question as to whether or not the husband is the father of any child born to the wife, the law REQUIRES that a guardian ad litem be appointed to investigate whether or not the husband is the biological father of the child.  A guardian ad litem (or GAL) is an attorney appointed by the Court to represent the best interests of the child in Court. 

            If the wife is PREGNANT at any time while a divorce is pending, a guardian ad litem MUST be appointed to determine the paternity of the unborn child.  The Court should be notified as soon as possible if the wife is pregnant.  Failure to do so could delay the progress of your case.

            The Court is also required to appoint a guardian ad litem AT ANY TIME in a divorce or paternity case when legal custody or physical placement of a child is in dispute and mediation has been unsuccessful.

            The parents of the child(ren) will generally be required to pay the guardian at litem's fees, including an initial deposit and payments once the matter is completed.