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Question about GAL in GA

1sttimestepmom70's picture

I realize there are a lot of posts about GALs in the forums, but after scanning them, I didn't really find the info that I'm looking for...

The BM has filed suit to reduce Dad's visitation time with his daughter. She filed for a Rule Nisi, then continued that the morning of the hearing. We have gone to mediation, where all that was accomplished was the mediator and the attorneys getting paid. She did not bring any thing to support why she feels his visitation time should be reduced AND she is now adding that she needs more child support money and needs him to pay additional money for private school tuition. We are still trying to determine what her rationale is for petitioning the court for this, since she has not clearly stated that in her original filings.

Now she is petitioning the court to appoint a GAL and is wanting the court to order Dad to pay the fees because she doesn't have the financial resources to do so. Yes, we are working with an attorney (who we really think is spot on), but we just got notice of this new development and I'm a bit impatient to wait until next week when we can chat with our attorney.

Anyway, I'm wondering how we can argue against these fees. She is the person who has brought the suit, she is the person who initially said that she did not want to go to mediation unless we would agree to her terms, but she did not offer any compromise. Both parents are employed full-time with comparable salaries. We are not against having the GAL, but why should the Dad have to pay the cost?

Any thoughts on how we can be better prepared to chat with our attorney to discuss our options? I'm not even sure if fees are involved prior to the GAL's assignment, but I would think that there would be an initial retainer up front....


1sttimestepmom70's picture

Thank you for your response.

To answer your question, the initial divorce included that Dad would pay 1/2 of private school tuition. They had a modification in 2012 that removed that portion of the custody language. Both parents live in the same school district, just different middle schools/high schools (but both cluster schools are rated A). Our attorney is very good about keeping things focused on the law and not the drama.

Thank you again for the response - it kind of confirms what we are thinking about BM - she has the burden of proof to substantiate her claims, and to date, she has done none of that.