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How can I make a complaint against a guardian ad litem if she is being biased and intimidating me as a mother?

Virginia Beach, VA |

Guardian ad litem is yelling at me via phone, everything my ex boyfriend is requesting she is calling me and making sure I comply with his wishes even if it is my weekend. Via emails she is making it seem like she is not bias but then she calls me with threats of what she is going to tell the judge. She also lies and tells me that i am petty and the reason for miscommunication with my ex even though he screams at me at exchanges and jumps at me. She said im a liar and making this up. I dont know what to do because he has money and i dont and she is treating me like i have no rights because his new wife is wealthy as well. She said his wife has just as much right to my daughter as i do.

Attorney Answers 2


The last time I checked the law on the subject, it was perfectly legal for one party to a conversation to electronically record the other party (parties) to that conversation without having to disclose that a recording was taking place. What is illegal is for a person who is NOT a party to a conversation to record the conversations of other people. You may want to verify that this is a correct statement of the current law in VA and perhaps some other attorneys who post an answer to your questions can provide some verification.

Assuming it is still legal to do so, you may want to record your conversations with the GAL, as well as the screaming incidents that you report are occurring during the visitation exchanges. You could then file a motion to remove the GAL and request that a new GAL be appointed on the grounds of the bias and conduct that you are experiencing.

The tape recordings can be offered in support of your motion, though getting them admitted into evidence is a little trickier. You will probably want to subpoena the GAL to testify at the motion, ask her under oath if these specific events, biases, conduct occurred, then if she denies it, offer the tapes for the following purposes: impeachment of the witness, to show state of mind of the witness, and to show bias of the witness. A similar process could then be used at the child custody trial against your ex-boyfriend to get thos tape recordings (or videos if you have a cell phone with recording capabilities) admitted into evidence.

Also, it is incorrect that the step-mother has "as much right to" your daughter as you do. She does have a legitimate interest in the child, but it would be error for the judge to consider the needs, etc. of the step-mother over yours. What the judge will be focusing on is the best interests of the child, which may include a consideration of the child's existing relationship with the step-mother (but the way it was put to you by the GAL is not a correct statement of the law).

If there is any way that you can retain an attorney to assist you in this case, I would strongly recommend it. It is an extremely difficult, uphill battle for a pro se parent to be up against a hostile GAL and the other parent's attorney. It will be difficult for your attorney as well, but we are use to it and have developed ways of dealing with a hostile GAL.

This response does not create an attorney-client relationship and is intended for general information purposes only.

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Jennifer E Mandell

Jennifer E Mandell


One additional note: I am assuming from the facts that you described that you and the father were never married and your custody case is pending in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. If this is the case, then you have a right to a de novo trial (meaning a complete do over of the case) to the Circuit Court. Please note that you must file your notice of appeal within 10 days of entry of the final order in the J&DR court.

Jennifer E Mandell

Jennifer E Mandell


(technically, it is a right to a de novo appeal to the Circuit Court, which means a whole new trial of the case in the Circuit Court).


Perhaps you need to keep all communications with the GAL in email form. Thus eliminating any "miscommunication" and leaving you with proof of your discussions. Also I suggest you email the GAL about her comments about the step mother and asking why she would make that statement. The advice about hiring a lawyer is crucial. In most cases with a GAL there is one parent who is unhappy, sometimes both. A judge often hears claims of bias and such. Solid proof will be needed.

This information provided is in the nature of general information and in no way creates an attorney client relationship with anyone including the individual who posted the question.

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1 comment



The advice given by the previous two commentators is valid. If I were you I would record not only the conversation you have with the GAL but with your child and you ex as much as possible. In addition you should be keeping a journal about events that happen from email correspondence to actual conversations you may have had. You may also want to consider filing a complaint against the GAL.

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