Truth Serum

Opinion: Better Oversight Needed For Guardians Ad Litem

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

   | 7 Comments

Recently, criticism of the state's guardians ad litem have hit an all-time high. GALs are reportedly withdrawing from their cases left and right, while grievances appear to be mounting. Family court, by definition, is charged with high emotions and children, unfortunately, are at the center of the storm.

What's being said

  • Ted Taupier

    here is a tidbit : 1.Not only did Margaret Bozek not advocate for my children’s best interests: but she clearly allowed one parent to execute a war plan with ill intentions upon the other (myself) – violating CONN. GEN. STAT. § 46b-129a (2) (2008) (“[A] child shall be represented by counsel knowledgeable about representing such children who shall be appointed by the court to represent the child and to act as guardian ad litem for the child. The primary role of any counsel for the child including the counsel who also serves as guardian ad litem, shall be to advocate for the child . . .”); - Margaret Bozek did not protect or lobby, or communicate in any manner to any part of the leagal system in any manner and failed to advocate for the child’s interests, financially, emotionally, physically and legally.
    2.Instead Margaret perpetuated the parental abuse of one parent on the other for their own benefit, without care or warrant for the children’s best and loving interests for their parents. My children (Gabriel and Sara ) would not have wanted one parent to falsely arrest another.
    3.See also : Sobie, supra note 44, at 799–800 (citing In re Griffin, No. 18432, 2001 WL 43106, at *5 (Ohio Ct. App. Jan. 19, 2001)) (“Because a guardian ad litem has a duty to recommend what is in the best interests of the child, and an attorney( Margaret) has a duty to zealously represent his client(my children), it is easy to see that a conflict could arise any time a child’s desire is not what he deemed in his ‘best interests.’”). Margaret Bozek clearly either through ignorance or incompetence or both did not represent my children’s best interests on any level, WITH ALL RESPECTS TO THE ACCUSATIONS from Tanya to the Cromwell Police department AND multiple FASLE ARREST attempts !

  • Ted Taupier

    After participating with the family COURT SYSTEM in CT you will never be the same. If you live in CT, do not get married here or have children. If we have to police the courts to operate in a judicial way, we are already far past the doomed point.

  • Marisa Ringel

    Thank you Attny. Michelle Cruz for identifying the harsh reality that many Connecticut families are facing when they are forced under the control of this dysfunctional, wild and untamed, Guardian Ad Litem system in CT. This is an out-of-control system that is causing atrocious levels of damages to Connecticut children, parents, and families. Thank you for having the courage to write about this very important issue. When we have a Senate and House full of attorneys, and a democratic leadership with current Governor Malloy and House Speaker Brendan Sharkey all currently protecting GAL interests on a grand scale, there is not the support we need to stop this abuse. Vote out incumbents who are doing nothing but turning a blind eye to this issue. If they are turning a blind eye on Connecticut familys‘ well-being to help their attorney friends, what else are they willing to overlook? Senator John McKinney has pledged help and support to take strong positions on cleaning up our abusive family court judicial system that allows these GALs to operate like this.

    Vote for Republican John McKinney for Governor in 2014. It‘s time for Malloy and his attorney cronies in the House and Senate, and their network of family GALs and atny‘s that exploit families in our family courts to be voted out.

    Good Democrats such as Minnie Gonzalez and Ed Vargas whom have championed this cause for a couple years now need to be applauded for their efforts. Re-elect Minnie Gonzalez this year as she is up for re-election. She is a hero to families stuck in Connecticut family courts being forced to employ GALs who are not helping their "wards", as they call our children, but hurting them.

  • Excellent article. In this state we have an abomination where attorneys with absolutely no background in child welfare whatsoever are unleashed on already suffering and struggling families and they cause far more harm than any good. What would one expect of a system where attorneys are allowed to bill with impunity with no oversight of any kind, with immunity, and as they are also deemed infallible. This as judge‘s (many of whom used to be GALs) routinely outsource their judicial authority to these people.



    One of the most notorious "full time GALs" in this has no children of her own and has never raised a child. She has a long track record of leaving children in abusive situations to the point where her now 18-20 year old former "wards" are testifying and speaking out against her. And yet she is STILL being assigned to dozens of cases every month. Who is minding the store? Whose responsibility is this? Who is in charge? The answer? Dead silence.



    This is simply unacceptable on any level.



    "Child welfare" in this state is a complete sham and disaster - and our horrifically broken and dysfunctional family GAL system is the major issue and problem.

  • Excellent article. In this state we have am abomination where attorneys with absolutely no background in child welfare whatsoever, are unleashed on already suffering and struggling families and they far more harm than any good. What would one expect of a system where attorneys are allowed to bill with impunity with no oversight of any kind, with immunity, and as they deemed infallible as well and judge‘s (many of whom used to be GALs) routinely outsource their judicial authority to these people. One of the most notorious "full time GALs" i this has no children of her own and has never raised a child. She has a long track record of leaving children in abusive situations to the point where her now 18-20 year old former "wards" are testifying and speaking out against her. And yet she is STILL being assigned to dozens of cases every month. Woo is minding the store? Whose responsibility is this? Who is in charge? The answer? Dead silence. This is simply unacceptable on any level. "Child welfare" in this state is a complete sham and disaster - and our horrifically broken and dysfunctional family GAL system is the major problem.

  • Colleen B.

    Beautifully captured. Thank you.

    I am a parent who had the wrong GAL, her recommendations negatively impacted my children and my relationship with them. All GAL meetings with the children should be videotaped, because the GAL blatantly lied.

  • Jennifer V

    Dear Attorney Michelle Cruz,
    I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your observations regarding our current GAL system.
    Although I believe the implementation of GAL training was a good idea, I feel as though it sent a subliminal message to family court judges and attorneys that GALs are necessary when two fit parents cannot agree regarding their children. I believe by having a third party, a stranger introduced to our children is not the answer when it comes to resolving custody disputes. If we‘re trying to keep children out of their parent’s disputes, how on earth are we doing this when assigning a GAL is as common as filling out a financial affidavit? Of course this is somewhat of an exaggeration because we know that everyone who walks into family court needs to submit a financial affidavit and not everyone walks away with a GAL in tow. However, my point is that we should be extremely cautious when recommending or approving a motion for a GAL or AMC because it does exactly what we don‘t want to happen, which is to involve the children in the dispute. Please keep in mind that I am referring only to cases absent abuse and neglect. Our most vulnerable children need a voice and that voice comes by way of a GAL and I commend these GALs for their dedication in this area.
    In closing, when I review the statues, practice book rules and literature on GALs and AMCs in Connecticut, it appears to me that someone decided to take the language so carefully crafted in an effort to protect abused and neglected children in DCF cases AND substitute “abused and neglected children” with “child custody matters.” I feel this invited and encouraged a group of individuals to a free- for- all at the expense of our children and families; emotionally and financially.
    Oversight, accountability, financial caps and sub-specialty training in family dynamics is long overdue regarding our GAL system; our children deserve better.

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