Erin Durnell answers:
Often, when a guardian ad litem is appointed by a judge, it is through a community organization or county program which funds the guardian ad litem’s work. One of the drawbacks of using a community-based program can be that their staff GALs have heavy caseloads, and their volunteer pool may be limited. This means that families may have to wait for a GAL to be appointed.
Families that wish to have the services of a guardian ad litem without waiting for a community-based program to be able to staff it, or who do not wish to pay for a full-blown custody evaluation using a Ph.D.-level evaluator, may elect to agree to the appointment of a private GAL. A private GAL contractually agrees with the parties regarding payment and initiation of services, eliminating delay.
Erin Maybee Durnell focused her practice on all aspects of Indiana family law. In 2022, Erin (Durnell) Weaver has been selected to serve as a Magistrate in our Hamilton County courts.