Title 26 GAL Requirements

Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 26.12.175 details the role of the Guardian ad Litem (GAL) and requirements. Snohomish County’s GAL Committee considers the following as stated in the RCW, when reviewing applications:
  • Level of formal education
  • Training related to the guardian’s duties
  • Relevant experience
  • Whether there have been complaints or claims filed against the applicant, if so, outcome
  • Criminal history (updated annually)
  • Completion of the Title 26 GAL training (offered by the King County Bar Association)
If there is insufficient experience as a paid GAL (from another county), or in the field of family law, a mentorship is required. This includes five hours shadowing a mentor on two cases (observing a child and an adult interview, assist in information gathering and investigation, and assist in report writing) and five hours observing Title 26 cases in Snohomish County Court. If no mentor is available, then the prospective GALshouldobserve10 hours of family law cases.

All Title 26 GALs are expected to read and understand the statutes, local rules, and their order of appointment prior to taking a case.

How to Apply
GALs must re‐apply annually, and complete six hours of continuing education credits in relevant subjects, ie. family conflict, substance abuse, mental health, abuse and neglect, etc. Apply to become a Title 26 GAL.