When parents in a Florida family law matter cannot agree on timesharing or parenting time, the Court has the authority to either order that a social investigation and study be performed, or that a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) be appointed, to assist the Court with the contested timesharing issue or the contested parenting time issue. Sometimes the Court will even order both.
A social study investigation is authorized by Section 61.20, Florida Statutes. The persons authorized by the statute to conduct the investigation are:
A GAL is a person appointed by the Court to advocate for the interests of the child or children. A GAL may be any person:
The differences and similarities between having a social study investigator and a GAL appointed in the case are:
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