Guardian ad Litem

Family Law Guardian ad Litem Information

Some of what you can expect:

As Guardian ad Litem (GAL), I provide a very thorough investigation into all areas for recommendation of a final parenting plan with EQUAL treatment of both sides and reaching conclusions on basis of facts. My goal is to develop all relevant information for the best interest of your children. Everything will be investigated and agreements will be attempted - it is usually much better to have an agreed parenting plan. Children are not stretchy pull toys during litigation and their emotional and physical well-being must be protected. Although each case presents unique circumstances and needs, the following are activities that may be performed during the investigation based on the unique needs of each case:

  • Review of parties / significant others for conflict of interest
  • Review of the court files - both public and confidential
  • Background checks of all parents and adults with substantial time with the children
  • Request for information from police, CPS, APS, or other agencies (inside and outside Washington)
  • Interviews with the children, parents, siblings, significant adults, daycare providers, teachers / school personnel, medical personnel, and others with relevant information
  • Unannounced (surprise) and scheduled home visits
  • Drug tests of parents
  • Review of any relevant documents or information from each parent
  • Working together to try and reach an agreed final parenting plan

Qualifications and resume:

People man blury face suit 64 questionMy resume is to the right in two different images (you can click them to see a larger view). You can also locate this information on the Kitsap County Superior Court website link at the bottom of the first page for Title 26 GAL Registry. Although you can get an idea of a person from a resume or other documents, you may feel free to call and interview me - I will not discuss the particulars of your case, but you can ask me about my philosophy, methods, or other similar questions. Once a GAL is chosen, it is VERY unlikely you will be able to change so make an informed choice.

 If you would like to view a larger, clearer PDF of the resume click "GAL Resume" under the images. It will open the PDF viewer that should be part of your internet browser, if not here are two links to PDF readers): Adobe or Foxit.

 

 

Fees and Costs:

You should first be concerned with a Guardian ad Litem doing a thorough and balanced investigation producing a clear and detailed report that will hopefully help both parents agree on a final parenting plan. Then you should be concerned with the costs. You are supposed to get monthly billing statements (required by the court order and statute) and updates on your case related to your deposit and additional expected fees or costs. As an attorney I have taken over cases where the GAL was already appointed and over 5 months provided no billing statements or updates and when finished asked for and the judge allowed approximately $6,000.00 in GAL fees (the court order appointing the GAL limited fees to $2,200.00 without prior court approval). I will NEVER exceed the deposit without agreement of the parties or a court order and I will ALWAYS give monthly billing statements. I make every effort to schedule my investigation so that the initial deposit covers the investigation and writing of the reports - unless the parents make the case more complicated (an agreement or court order will be obtained to exceed the deposit). I also immediately work on your case so an agreed parenting plan or GAL report can be accomplished approximately 60 days after I receive the court ordered deposit. To the right is the published fee schedule.

 Click the above image to enlarge, or click the following to download it as a PDF file: Fee Schedule

 

Children are not pull toys in divorce.

Children are not stretchy pull toys during litigation. As Guardian ad Litem I can help promote what is in the best interest of the children.

We accept payments by cash, check, and credit cards.

Click the above image to go to our online "store" to make payment AFTER you receive a bill and approval from Mr. Wade (you will have a special item created specifically for you). Or you can copy and paste this website address: https://squareup.com/market/pbwlawfirm

Guardianship Guardian ad Litem Information

The Guardian ad Litem's goal is to make sure no one (no "pac-man") can threaten or take advantage of the incapacitated person.

Some of what you can expect:

I provide a very thorough investigation into all areas for recommendation of whether a guardianship is necessary and if so to what extent. Even when guardianship is necessary, it does not always need to be a full guardianship - the incapacitated person may already have legal mechanisms put in place (a power-of-attorney or trustee) or may retain the ability to decide some of their legal rights. A good understanding of the alleged incapacitated person and various disabilities is important. I have worked with people with disabilities for many, many years as a vocational counselor, independent-living skills trainer, social worker, DSHS case manager and supervisor, administrative hearings representative, attorney for persons with disabilities, and Certified Professional Guardian. I have worked with people having emotional, intellectual, developmental, congenital, neurological, and progressive disabilities. I also have worked with people having very limited communication abilities, such as deaf / hard-of-hearing, aphasia (expressive and receptive), dementia, mental retardation, and other conditions. With specific communication techniques and sometimes technology, I will usually be able to understand the alleged incapacitated person.

Qualifications and resume:

People man blury face suit 64 questionMy resume is to the right in two different images (you can click them to see a larger view). You can also locate this information on the Kitsap County Superior Court website link at the bottom of the first page for Title 11 GAL Registry. Although you can get an idea of a person from a resume or other documents, you may feel free to call and interview me - you can ask me about my philosophy, methods, or other similar questions. However, the judge must appoint me in order to work on the case (I work on behalf of the judge and advocate for what is in the alleged incapacitated person's best interest). Even if I am not the GAL, I am sometimes hired as an attorney to represent the person who is alleged to need a guardianship (in this role I advocate for whatever my client wants).

 If you would like to view a larger, clearer PDF of the resume click "GAL Resume" under the images. It will open the PDF viewer that should be part of your internet browser, if not here are two links to PDF readers): Adobe or Foxit.

Fees and Costs:

The judge will determine the allowable fees and costs for the GAL. If the alleged incapacitated person has very little funds, then Kitsap County may pay the GAL; if the alleged incapacitated person does have funds, then the judge will set the hourly rate and maximum amount the GAL will be paid. All GAL fees and costs are reviewed by the judge before payment. I will immediately start work on your case so the GAL report can be accomplished prior to the hearing that should have already been scheduled when I was appointed to be no later than 60 days. To the right is the published fee schedule that can be clicked to be larger or the text underneath can be clicked to open it in the PDF viewer (much clearer).

If after a guardianship has been established the incapacitated person wishes to review the guardianship scope or challenge the guardian, then I may be hired to perform a thorough investigation. All that is required is for the alleged incapacitated person (or someone assisting them) to file a request (called a motion) with the court and schedule a hearing. If I was previously involved in the case, then I may be appointed again since I will be familiar with the case. If I was not previously involved, then the next person on the GAL list will be appointed unless the judge decides that my specific skills are necessary.

Click the above image to enlarge, or click the following to download it as a PDF file: Fee Schedule