Guardians At Litem (GAL)

About

Guardian ad litem (GAL) literally means “guardian for the suit.” A guardian ad litem in Virginia is an attorney appointed by a judge to assist the court in determining the circumstances of a matter before the court. It is the fundamental responsibility of the guardian ad litem to provide independent recommendations to the court about the client’s best interests, which can be different from advocating for what the client wants, and to bring balance to the decision-making process. The GAL may conduct interviews and investigations, make reports to the court, and participate in court hearings or mediation sessions.

The Office of the Executive Secretary, Supreme Court of Virginia, administers, maintains and distributes lists of attorneys who are qualified guardians ad litem. There are two separate guardian ad litem programs: one for children and one for incapacitated persons. The children’s program qualifies attorneys for appointment as guardians ad litem for children in juvenile and domestic relations district courts and circuit courts. The incapacitated persons’ (adult) program qualifies attorneys for appointment as guardians ad litem for incapacitated persons in circuit courts.

Contact Information

Guardian Ad Litem Program (Virginia State)
Phone - (804) 786-9543

Standards for Guardians Ad Litem
Performance Standards for Guardians Ad Litem for Children
Judicial Council Approved “Standards to Govern the Performance of Guardians Ad Litem for Children”
Qualification Standards for Guardians Ad Litem 
Judicial Council Approved “Standards to Govern the Appointment of Guardians Ad Litem.”

Forms

These forms are available as Adobe Acrobat PDF documents. The Adobe Acrobat Viewer (free from Adobe) allows you to view and print PDF documents.

Resource and Reference Materials

Continuing Education Courses GALs for Children

Guardians Ad Litem for Incapacitated Persons (Adults)

About

Standards for Guardians Ad Litem

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)– Guardian Ad Litem Program for Incapacitated Persons (Adults)

Forms

These forms are available as Adobe Acrobat PDF documents. The Adobe Acrobat Viewer (free from Adobe) allows you to view and print PDF documents.

Continuing Education Courses-GALs for Incapacitated Persons (Adults)

Directory of Qualified GALs for Incapacitated Persons (Adults)