Discretionary appointment of guardian ad litem (GAL)

Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Children - Child (incomplete)

The court may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) for a minor in a guardianship matter, but the GAL seemingly need not be an attorney.  

Ind. Code § 29-3-2-3 states, "the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the ... minor if the court determines that the ... minor is not represented or is not adequately represented by counsel." (emphasis added).  This is true unless the court waives the appointment under Ind. Code § 29-3-2-3(b) or if § 29-3-2-4 does not apply.

However, neither the Article covering Guardianships and Protective Proceedings nor the Title covering Probate provide a definition for "guardian ad litem", so there is no evidence that the GAL must be an attorney. See Ind. Code §§ 29–3–1–1 to 29–3–1–18 and Ind. Code § 29-1-1-3.  Furthermore, depending on the case characteristics, the guardianship case may fall under the jurisdiction of a variety of courts, including the juvenile court or a court having jurisdiction over custody of the child (see Ind. Code §§ 29-3-2-1; 31-30-1-6), and no court rules applicable statewide could be located that indicated the GAL must be a licensed attorney.