Not all child custody cases are resolved in an amicable manner. In some cases, the events that lead the parents to divorce are so contentious that they just can't be civil. In other cases, there are circumstances, such as drug addiction, that might make child custody challenging. In these cases, a guardian ad litem might be ordered for the children.
A guardian ad litem is an appointed person who acts as the legal representative for the child. The goal of this person is to ensure that the interests of the child remain at the heart of the case. This can help out immensely when the parents are trying to use personal vendettas as fuel for the child custody proceedings.
When this person is appointed, he or she will likely meet with the children to get to know them. This meeting can occur at the home of the children or it might happen in the office of the guardian. There are some instances in which a home visit to each parent's home might be scheduled. If the children are old enough to give their own opinion about the custody matters, this might be discussed.
It is important to note that the guardian ad litem doesn't actually make decisions about the case. Instead, they make recommendations to the court. It is up to the judge presiding over the case to decide if he or she will follow those recommendations or not. This means that even if one is appointed in your case, you still need to prepare for the trial so that you can present your side to the court.