What is Guardian Ad Litem?

Legal Definition
"Guardian for the case". An independent party appointed in family law disputes to represent parties that cannot represent themselves, such as minors, developmentally disabled, or elderly.
Legal Definition
When a person involved in a suit cannot adequately represent his or her own interests, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the person's interests. Unlike typical guardians or conservators, guardians ad litem only protect their wards' interests in a single suit. Generally, courts appoint guardians ad litem to represent legal infants and adults who are actually or allegedly incapacitated. Courts most frequently appoint guardians ad litem in parents' disputes over " title="reference on custody" target="_self">custody of their children. For example, the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act requires states to appoint guardians ad litem for children in abuse or negect proceedings. " title="reference on 42 U.S.C. 5106a(b)(2)(A)(xiii)" target="_self">42 U.S.C. 5106a(b)(2)(A)(xiii). See Francine M. Neilson v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., 199 f.3d 642 (2d Cir. 1999).
Legal Definition
A guardian appointed to represent one in litigation during the pendency thereof. See 107 Wis. 404, 83 N, W. 694.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The party the court deems responsible for an incapacitated, handicapped, or minor in court.