Joshi, attorneys + counselors Main Navigation
Our Practice

Part I: Court-appointed guardians in parental alienation matters

Some of the most difficult cases in family law involve parental alienation. A recent article in the Michigan Family Law Journal by attorney Ashish Joshi notes that "parental alienation is an unjustified campaign of denigration against a parent, often referred to as the 'target parent.'"

Because target parents are often denied parenting time and visitation, they will ask the court to intervene. The court - often frustrated as well because its child custody orders are being ignored by the "favored parent" and the child in question - will assign a GAL (guardian ad litem) or LGAL (lawyer-guardian ad litem) to help sort matters out. The court's hope is that the guardian will investigate, make dispute resolution recommendations and help the process "to move towards a collaborative model where divorcing parties treat each other with dignity and respect," Joshi writes.

The guardian might well try to cool emotions and resolve unfounded allegations against the target parent by the child by bringing in a family therapist. Unfortunately, in cases of parental alienation, therapy doesn't always lead to healthier relationships. In parental alienation, "the child's rejection of the target parent is based on a false or unreasonable belief that is significantly disproportionate to the child's actual experience."

Courts are increasingly using GALs to help the court understand what is in the child's best interests and LGALs to represent the child. Joshi notes that "while the LGAL's duty is to the child, it does not translate into simply being a mouthpiece for the child's wishes." Instead, the LGAL's "duty to first determine and then advocate for the child's best interests."

As you can see, this is a complex area of family law. We will have more on parental alienation and the guardian's role in our next blog post.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Associations & Memberships

Logo

When we take a case, we do it with one goal in mind: To win for you.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Current News & Events

Christina T. Kline, Dr. Demosthenes Lorandos, of the Joshi law firm, and Dr. Michael Spence, are featured as the cover story in the NACDL magazine, The Champion, Jan/Feb 2015 with the article - 'If DNA, Then Guilty': Strategies for Overcoming Juror Assumptions About DNA Evidence in Criminal Trials. Read More

Ashish Joshi was featured in Ingham County Legal news discussing the recent 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals decision overturning the convictions of two Wall Street traders, Anthony Chiasson and Todd Newman. Read More

Joshi | 2400 S. Huron Parkway | Ann Arbor, MI 48104 | Fax: 888-995-7868 | Map & Directions