Guardian Ad Litem
Preserving Your Loved One’s Rights
In 2018, Transitions Legal added Guardian Ad Litem services to its roster of offerings, to help support vulnerable individuals who need a voice in court. A passion project of Associate Attorney Emily Hollenberg, Transitions Legal’s Guardian Ad Litem services assist Oakland County and Macomb County judges, aiding individuals, including children, deemed legally incapacitated or developmentally disabled, in need of someone to make good decisions on their behalf or manage financial decisions.
Emily Hollenberg chose a career in law to help people. A former Legal Aid attorney, she’s worked with a variety of vulnerable individuals, ensuring they have someone looking out for their true best interests.
What We Do
A Guardian Ad Litem offers insights into a legal case by assessing whether an individual has the ability to make legal or financial decisions for themselves. Our attorneys review court filings and interview the individual in question along with the petitioner, family members, and professionals involved in the person’s life. Armed with complete information, the Guardian Ad Litem then makes an official recommendation to the court about the individual’s ability to make informed decisions.
We work hard to provide an accurate representation of current circumstances. “Transitions Legal added Guardian Ad Litem services to our menu of offerings because we wanted to expand the ways in which we could help people make smooth and effective transitions in their lives,” says Alisa Peskin-Shepherd, Transitions Legal founder and principal.
The move was inspired by a case where a client sought to petition for guardianship of a minor child. Transitions Legal successfully created a plan for reuniting the child with her mother, developing a parenting family plan in the child’s best interests. The judge on the case was so impressed with our concern for the family that she approached Emily with positive feedback on the thoroughness of the guardianship petition she prepared. The judge then encouraged Emily to pursue Guardian Ad Litem work, where she would be appointed to act in a lawsuit or proceeding on behalf of a child or a person incapable of representing themselves.
Guardian Ad Litem recommendations carry great weight in court. Judges rely on trusted GALs to advocate on behalf of an individual who needs a clear, strong voice representing them. GALs assist judges in deciding the best outcome in case when an individual in the case is unable, for whatever reason, to represent their situation.
Giving Back To Our Community
Emily Hollenberg completed Guardian Ad Litem certification through the Oakland County Bar Association and Macomb County Probate Court. Our firm’s expertise in mediation and Collaborative Divorce supports our Guardian Ad Litem services as we are already focused on helping people get to a better place in their lives. We believe in full disclosure of complete information, helping our clients understand the implications of their decisions.
“As with every case we take on, Guardian Ad Litem work requires us to step into our clients’ environment to gain a full perspective of their life and present that to the court,” says Emily.
“While this may not be a lucrative pursuit, it is a meaningful one and our firm is dedicated to truly helping people in their time of need,” says Alisa. “I am impressed by Emily’s dedication to giving back to the community. It embodies all that this firm stands for.”