Attorney Ad Litem
A Guardian ad litem or GAL is a person, often an attorney, appointed by the court to represent the interests of a child, a ward, or an unborn infant in a particular court case.
- Has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to care for the personal and property interests of another person, called a ward.
- Is used when a ward is incapable of caring for his or her own interests due to infancy, incapacity, or disability.
- Appointed to represent the interests of a person with respect to a single action in litigation is a guardian ad litem
Most countries and states have laws that provide that the parents of a minor child are the legal guardians of that child, and that the parents can designate who shall become the child's legal guardian in the event of death. Courts generally have the power to appoint a guardian for an individual in need of special protection. A guardian with responsibility for both the personal well-being and the financial interests of the ward is a general guardian. A person may also be appointed as a special guardian, having limited powers over the interests of the ward. A special guardian may, for example, be given the legal right to determine the disposition of the ward's property without being given any authority over the ward's person.