GAL reform and why LD 522 is bad for Maine and Maine’s Children

March 28 the Judiciary Committee heard testimony from those that opposed and those that support LD522. I indicated that I do not support the bill.

This is a bill that was synthesized by the divorce industry and caters to those that work within the courts – lawyers, Guardians ad litem and Judges to name a few. It takes a legalistic approach to management, oversight and rules for Guardians ad litem. It is a bill that anyone who works within the court system can understand.

That is the downfall of LD522. If your constituency is strictly made up of people who are part of the divorce industry, Guardians ad litem and the Judiciary then this is their bill and yours. Otherwise I  would point out that those that opposed LD522 were made up exclusively of parents who have had to deal with the problems of the current system.

LD522 is about the best interest of the divorce industry – the complaint process for instance is complex, time consuming and costly. The cost associated with LD522 is almost $30,000 more than what has been suggested through LD872. There is no benefit to the parents that would go through this process and being subjected to this proposal. Your constituents deserve better – they deserve to be heard, they deserve to be on a level playing field, these parents deserve better than what LD522 is going to offer them.

I urge you to reject LD522 for your constituency – your real constituency – and do what is right by giving your blessing for LD 872. This bill is good for Maine. It is good for Maine families – but mostly it is good for the children of Maine.

Thank you

Paul Collins

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