A guardian ad litem (GAL) is an adult who is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of an individual for a specific purpose for a specific period of time. Under the direction of the court, a GAL performs an investigation and prepares a report for the court of the GAL's findings and recommendations. The GAL's responsibilities and duties are set forth by statute, court rule and the order appointing the GAL.
Title 26 GALs Cases
Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 26.09 / 26.12 GALs are often appointed to represent the best interests of minor children in domestic relations (family law) cases.
Title 26.09 Registry
Pierce County Superior Court maintains the Title 26.09 Registry. A selection list of three names will be issued when the 26.09 GAL is authorized in a Family Law case. Once the $1825 retainer is deposited with the Court Clerk, an Order appointing one of the names on the selection list is to be presented to the Court for signature. The GAL cannot begin the investigation until the retainer is deposited and the order appointing is signed and filed.
The court does have limited resources for the appointment of a Staff GAL (no retainer required) if both parties are self-represented and meet indigency guidelines. Staff GAL's can only be appointed by the assigned Family Court Judge. Contact Family Court Services, 253.798.7702, for more information and the required forms to complete for consideration for an appointment of a 26.09 Staff GAL.
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