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Guardian Ad Litem Representation

A Guardian Ad Litem (definition – guardian at law) is an independent professional person who is appointed to represent the wishes and interests of a child in specified Court proceedings. The role and function of a Guardian Ad Litem is to represent the child’s welfare and views independently and to assist the Court in making a decision on the child’s welfare.

Section 26(1) of the Childcare Act 1991 allows the Court to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem in care proceedings. Representation of the needs and wishes of a child by a Guardian Ad Litem (who is often a Social Worker) can be of paramount importance in assisting the Court in making a decision in the best interest of the child.

In private family law Section 28 of the Guardianship of Infants Act,1964 as inserted by Section 11 of the Children’s Act, 1997 states that a Guardian Ad Litem may be appointed in custody and access disputes “if in special circumstances it appears to the Court it is necessary in the best interest of the child to do so”.

It is hoped that the government is committed to conducting a review into Guardians Ad Litem which, should consider the role of the Guardian Ad Litem generally in family law proceedings and in the representation of children in all legal proceedings.

In the matter of representation of the child, following the passing of the 31st Constitutional Amendment (Article 42 A.4.2) the views of the child who is capable of forming his/her own views will be ascertained and the Court will give due way to those views having regard to the age and maturity of the child as far as practical in childcare custody, adoption and access proceedings.

At Cashin & Associates we have been representing Guardian Ad Litems’ in all Court proceedings for many years and have built up a wealth of knowledge and expertise in this area. We are available to advise our clients in all matters concerning the case before the Court.

Cashin & Associates Solicitors,
3 Francis Street, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland
Dublin Office: 64 Francis Street, Dublin 8
T: 00 353 65 6840060  F: 00 353 65 6840034