RCW 26.12.175 is the Washington State law that governs appointment of guardians ad litem in domestic relations proceedings. RCW 26.12.175(1)(a) provides that, “The court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of a minor or dependent child when the court believes the appointment of a guardian ad litem is necessary to protect the best interests of the child in any proceedings under this chapter.” The role of the guardian ad litem is to investigate and report factual information to the court concerning parenting arrangements of the child and to represent the child’s best interests.
The Cowlitz County Superior Court has eliminated the Family Court Office. As a result, we established a guardian ad litem registry to provide the requested family studies and reports to the Supeiror Court for review. All guardians ad litem appointed under this title must comply with the training requirements set out by Washington law. Cowlitz County Superior Court complies with all applicable laws for developing and maintaining a registry of qualified guardians ad litem including an annual review of qualifications.
If you are interested in being considered for the Title 26 Registry, you are encouraged to review the following materials and submit all applications materials to the Cowlitz County Superior Court Administration at 312 SW 1st Avenue, Room 125, Kelso, WA 98626 by:
March 21st at 5:00 PM at 312 SW 1st Avenue, Kelso, WA 98626.
Materials to review that will assist you in the application process are as follows:
- Title 26 GAL-Policies and Procedures - Title 26 Registry Policies
- Title 26 GAL-Code of Conduct - Code of Conduct for Guardian ad Litems
- Title 26 GAL-Application [GAL Application - WORD] or [GAL Application - PDF]
- Title 26 GAL-Release of Information [GAL ROI - WORD] or [GAL ROI - PDF]
- Title 26 GAL-State Handbook located at: http://www.kcba.org/CLE/Title26GAL.pdf
If you are planning to apply to the registry, you must submit the following:
- A completed application (link above),
- A current Washington State Patrol criminal history check (w/in last two weeks-fee for this is at applicant’s own expense), and
- A copy of your Title 26 GAL Training Certificate.
Thank you for your interest in becoming a guardian ad litem.
***If you haven’t attended the State required Title 26 GAL training, you will need to attend the next training that is scheduled for February 26-28, 2014, in Seattle.
Please See Web Link for more information.