LD 522, SP 212 An Act To Amend the Guardian Ad Litem Laws

Is a proposed bill that is being submitted by the Judiciary of Maine and the intention is to correct issues that are part of the Guardian ad litem program here in Maine. It is not clear how what is being proposed will really benefit the children and families of Maine. This is a bill that appears to be self serving for the ‘stake holders’ (ie. The divorce industry and Guardians ad litem) and an avenue for the states Judiciary to save face and give the appearance of correcting problems that has fermented for decades.

Take for instance “Recommendations for an Improved Process for Complaints Regarding Guardians Ad Litem” in the summary section. This is an open ended statement and gives no clear structure as to how the proposed complaint process is to be improved upon. Our understanding from a member of the committee that was assembled for reforming the complaint process is that the format being endorsed would benefit those that work within the courts. A complaint process with layers that for the average person trying to navigate the legalese would give up upon. This complaint process would also be maintained within the Judiciary – which in almost 40 years of problems has only managed to make the complaint process more bullet proof for the divorce industry and Guardians ad litem. The average person unfamiliar with legal process would probably benefit more from banging their head against a wall repeatedly. Our courts, Judges and Guardians ad litem have failed miserably to provide control, management and oversight of this ‘profession’ – are we expected that they can produce a transparent process for complaints that the average person can understand?

Contrast this to a proposal from Maine’s licensing board  which has a history of providing management and oversight of its members. The complaint process is understandable to the average person who is attempting to navigate a complaint against a Guardian ad litem for vocation and or malpractice. There is due process and accountability that is built in. The process is explained by those that handle the complaint to those that are filing a complaint. There is transparency involved that is not seen with the current process nor with what is being proposed by the Judiciary.

Which would you want to work within? A process that is highly legal and time consuming. One that will potentially cost the person trying to bring about a complaint thousands of dollars? Or a process that cost very little in terms of time and resources. That is not legalistic in its scope? If for no other reason this bill should be killed – the Judiciary may do some things well – oversight and management of Guardians ad litem is not one of them. The bill is self serving and makes reform closed to the public – the very same idea that has put Maine’s Guardians ad litem in the hot water they find themselves in now. The complaint process should be moved from the closed process this bill is asking for and moved to an organization that is equipped to police its own. Maine’s children cannot wait another 40 years for the idea of change to come. Maine’s families cannot afford the cost – emotional and financial – that will come with a poorly thought out process for reform.

Please write to our Representatives to tell them that  LD 522, SP 212 An Act To Amend the Guardian Ad Litem Laws should be laid to rest. That this is a bad piece of legislation. If you have questions, or need help in contacting our Representatives please email us at MeGALalert@gmail.com for support and information. We can also be found on Facebook for up to date information on  Guardian ad litem and Parental Coordinator reform.

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