Guardian ad Litem (GAL)

Snohomish County Superior Court maintains GAL registries under Title 26 (representing children in dissolutions, modifications, paternity, relocation, and third party custody cases), Title 11 (alleged incapacitated persons), and minor settlements. For representation of children in the foster care system, please see our “Community Services” program under Juvenile Court to learn more about the Volunteer Guardian Ad Litem Program (VGAL).

Family Law GALs are appointed to represent the best interests of a child / children, an alleged incapacitated person, or a person in a minor settlement case, for specific purposes and specific periods of time, or in high conflict cases when the Court needs information from a neutral source. Under the direction of the Court, the GAL performs an investigation and prepares a report. GALs do not act as lawyers, therapists, or parties in the case, and therefore do not provide legal advice, counseling, or diagnosis.

Private Pay Registry

Under limited circumstances for those parties who qualify, the Court may appoint and pay for the GAL under Titles 26 or 11. The maximum time allowed on these cases is 12 hours. For all other cases, parties pay the GAL the rate which the GAL has established under the “private pay” registry. (Verify current hourly rates and retainers with individual GALs.)