What is the name of your state? Texas
What are the differences between an Attorney ad Litem and a Guardian ad Litem? When would one be appointed over another? In what kinds of cases? I understand that a Attorney ad Litem is a new thing, as of September 1, 2003. However, the Texas Family Code is fairly vague when it covers the usage of both (or maybe I am just not legal enough to understand it). Could you explain in English?
I currently have a case where an Attorney ad Litem was appointed. Both parties are assigned as Joint Managing Conservators, with me retaining the primary residence of the child. Other parent has supervised visitation that sadly he does not utilize and he has not in seen the child in over one year (No clue as to where he is even residing nor do I have a phone number for him). Nor does he pay his ordered child/medical support each month as he should (he pays sporadically, when he wants and how much he wants, even with an income withholding. His employer does not seem to want to cooperate.) Our child is now two. Neither party has representation. I am going at this pro se. I filed a Motion for Contempt/Show Cause for my ex's failure to pay support and many other issues that I feel that he is in contempt of. He has already been placed on a Suspended Sentence of a Contempt Conviction six months ago for non-payment of child support, so he should be facing jail time this go around. At our last hearing, my ex falsely claimed that I was denying him his visitation with the child. I stated that I had proof (witnesses and other specific evidence from the supervised visitation site) that I was not in violation. (Bit of past info here - my ex has tried to give up his parental rights once before. Judge refused, as I am not married and no one to adopt. Ex has shown no interest in our child, only seen our child 5 times in her whole life. Yet, he enjoys dragging me through the legal system. I left him because of domestic violence – yes, documented. But, this is his way to continue to annoy me because I left him. Yes, I do freely go to counseling and my ex was ordered to attend anger managment - that he will not attend. Nor the parenting classes.)
Anyway, I am confused as to why at the last hearing, the Judge would go ahead and assign an Attorney ad Litem (She initially stated that she would assign a Guardian ad Litem that day in court to represent the child). I am a great parent. Steady job, good child care, I support my child wonderfully. There is no issues of custody as my ex does not want our child anyway. So, why would one be assigned? And do I have to be the one to pay for the Attorney, as my ex claimes that he is indignt and cannot afford to pay (lie, lie, lie)?
And my further confusion stems from the fact that when I researched the specific Attorney assigned, I find that he is board certified in Criminal Law. Not Family law. What gives?!?!?