When Is the Guardian ad Litem Required to Be Present?

A good question on Avvo from a mother going through the custody process:

Does the appointed Guardian ad Litem need to be present at the meeting with family relations at which they will be sharing their recommendations? I don’t have the money to pay the GAL and my current attorney. Can the meeting take place with the father of my children and me? Why does the GAL need to be present if he is only reading the report and we are supposed to reserve our comments for court?

Simply put, if it could affect the children, the GAL has a right to be involved. What the mother could do in this situation is see if the GAL is willing not to show up. If she tells the GAL they are close to an agreement, especially both parents, then the GAL might be willing to skip the meeting and just read the report later. If there is any two-way discussion involved at this meeting, however, then the mother is likely out of luck.