LD 522, SP 212: Making Reports Optional to Benefit Children?

With the current standards and rules for Guardians ad litem one of the key parts is that the Guardian ad litem is required to file a report. A recommendation within 14 days of the final hearing.  In addition the Guardian ad litem is responsible for filing reports through out the custody process. For reference:

Standards 4 (4.1): The report shall be based on the Guardian’s investigation and evaluation and provide reasons in support of these recommendations.

This item has been a part of the process since 1999 when the standards where last modified. Currently the proposed bill LD 522, SP 212 An Act To Amend the Guardian Ad Litem Laws is asking the Legislature to do away with this item. The wording in the summary section of the proposed bill is as follows:

“Current law requires a guardian ad litem appointed in a family matters case to submit a written report to the parties and the court. This bill requires a written report only if the court directs the guardian ad litem to file one.”

In many cases the report that the parties get is the only source of information on what the Guardian ad litem has or is doing. The reports are a life line to the parent(s). By doing away with this item and making it an optional component of the Guardian ad litem responsibility – only benefits the Guardian ad litem. How does it benefit the child or more importantly the parents that are involved in this process?  It does not. One of the biggest problems divorcing families face is the lack of information that is provided to either or both parties. It is part of human nature to want to know what is happening on the other side.  To be prepared for the worse but hope for the best. Restricting the avenues of communication between the parties is a recipe for disaster and heightened conflict. This ends up feeding itself – limiting the information further and causing anger and mistrust of the other side and or Guardian ad litem. There is no good that will come out of this aspect of the proposed bill.

Please write to your Representatives and ask them to think about not taking away this one aspect  of a Guardian ad litem involvement that sheds some light on the process. This process is not about limiting what a parent needs to know. It is about making sure the parents involved are well informed. Make the report(s) an option will not improve the quality of the work a Guardian ad litem does. Contact us at MeGALalert@gmail.com for support and information about Guardian ad litem reform. For up to date information like us on Facebook.

Judiciary Committee List:

Linda M. Valentino    D York County P. O. Box 1049 Saco ME 04072 (207) 282-5227

John L. Tuttle Jr.    D York County 176 Cottage Street Sanford ME 04073 (207) 324-5964

David C. Burns        R Washington County 159 Dodge Road Whiting ME 04691 (207) 733-8856

Charles R. Priest    D Brunswick 9 Bowker Street Brunswick ME 04011 (207) 725-5439
cpriest1@comcast.net    RepCharles.Priest@legislature.maine.gov

Kimberly J. Monaghan-Derrig    D Cape Elizabeth 6 Russet Lane Cape Elizabeth ME 04107 (207) 749-9443
kmderrig@maine.rr.com    RepKim.Monaghan-Derrig@legislature.maine.gov

Jennifer  DeChant    D Bath 1008 Middle Street Bath ME 04530 (207) 442-8486
dechantforbath@gmail.com    RepJennifer.DeChant@legislature.maine.gov

Matthew W. Moonen    D Portland 17 Pine Street #2 Portland ME 04102 (207) 332-7823
matt.moonen@gmail.com    RepMatt.Moonen@legislature.maine.gov

Stephen W. Moriarty    D Cumberland 34 Blanchard Road Cumberland ME 04021 (207) 829-5095
smoriarty108@aol.com    repsteve.moriarty@legislature.maine.gov

Lisa Renee Villa    D Harrison P. O. Box 427 Harrison ME 04040 (207) 776-3118
Villa98staterep@gmail.com    RepLisa.Villa@legislature.maine.gov

Jarrod S. Crockett    R Bethel P. O. Box 701 Bethel ME 04217 (207) 875-5075
jarrodscrockett@gmail.com    RepJarrod.Crockett@legislature.maine.gov

Michael G. Beaulieu    R Auburn 27 Sherman Avenue Auburn ME 04210 (207) 784-0036
mike@mikeformaine.org    RepMike.Beaulieu@legislature.maine.gov

Anita  Peavey Haskell    R Milford 17 Pine Street Milford ME 04461 (207) 827-7296

Stacey K. Guerin    R Glenburn 79 Phillips Road Glenburn ME 04401 (207) 884-7118
repguerin@gmail.com    RepStacey.Guerin@legislature.maine.gov

Wayne T. Mitchell    D Penobscot Nation 14 Oak Hill Street, Penobscot Nation Indian Island ME 04468 (207) 827-0392
waymitch10@hotmail.com    RepWayne.Mitchell@legislature.maine.gov