Guardian Ad Litem

Colorado Statutes (C.R.C.P. Rule 17(c), C.R.S. § 15-14-115) and the Court’s decision in In re Marriage of Sorensen (2007) allow for the appointment of an attorney to represent the interests of a party in a domestic relations proceeding if the Court finds that the party:

  1. is mentally impaired so as to be incapable of understanding the nature and significance of the proceeding;
  2. is incapable of making critical decisions;
  3. lacks the intellectual capacity to communicate with counsel; OR
  4. is mentally or emotionally incapable of weighing the advice of counsel on the particular course to pursue in his or her own interest.

Appointing a Guardian ad litem (GAL) is one way in which a party’s interests and rights can be protected, as the party in question is deemed unable to make their own considered choices regarding strategy or other proceedings.

A GAL is often instructed by the Court to familiarize themselves with issues pertaining to the client’s support, care, mental health, physical health, property, and general welfare, in order to make recommendations to the Court on behalf of the client’s best interests. GAL appointments may be paid by the State or by the parties. The attorneys of Radeff & Hart, P.C. are regularly appointed by the Courts to serve as Guardian ad litems in domestic cases.