Mary Poletti has served as a “guardian ad litem” for the Kenosha County Circuit Court since June of 2022. GALs serve in paternity or divorce cases when parents cannot agree on a placement schedule. They are appointed to represent the “best interests” of the children, not advocate for anything the children want. GALs investigate what situation would be best for the child or children and then give a recommendation to the court. The court does not have to adopt the recommendation, but often does so, as the GAL has done the homework regarding the details of the family situation.
GALs also represent the best interests of minor children in CHIPS cases, truancy cases, restraining orders/injunctions, and probate cases.
GALs get appointed for minor guardianships or adult guardianships involving incompetency, and for annual reviews of protective placement situations.
Because GALs are in court a great deal, they can be hard to reach by telephone. Their email accounts also get loaded with court and parent emails. PLEASE BE PATIENT in waiting for a response, but also do not be afraid to follow up with another call or email if necessary.
It is a joy to serve those who need representation, as well as a challenge to get all the work done before court!