Toby Hollander, Esq.
Guardian ad Litem, Parenting Coordinator
112 Ludlow Street, Portland, ME 04103
207.775.0721 phone
207.775.0722  fax
e-mail


 

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The amount a Guardian ad Litem charges usually depends upon how much work will be involved. Recently, Courts have become more involved in this process early in the case. Similarly, the Courts have become more involved in defining what a Guardian ad Litem investigation should look like, going as far as to list all the witnesses a Guardian ad Litem may talk to. Unfortunately, it is often not known what the issues in a case are going to be at so early in a case, so it is similarly difficult to predict who a Guardian ad Litem should talk to or how much work a Guardian ad Litem investigation is going to entail.

This means that, at least some of the time, a Guardian ad Litem may discover issues that neither the lawyers nor the judge were aware of sometime after the original appointment order has been signed. Which will require going back to the court to request a new order taking into account additional witnesses, revising the list of issues to address in recommendations, and, sometimes to increase the amount of fees based upon the additional time necessary for the investigation. The unfortunate consequence of the additional involvement of the Court is that the costs of having a Guardian ad Litem increase due to the need to litigate over the scope of the investigation. Another consequence is that when the number of hours allocated by the Court are used up, the Guardian ad Litem must stop working, whether the investigation is complete or not.

I bill at a rate of $100/per hour. I provide the parties and their attorneys a monthly invoice which details, to the nearest tenth of an hour, the time I have spent on their case and for what. (Interviewing, appearing in Court, responding to emails, requesting and reviewing records, etc.)

I can say my involvement in a case rarely takes fewer than 20 hours (which means the retainer or fees on account in the beginning are usually a minimum of $2,000. The things that tend to make a case more time consuming, and therefore, more expensive are ongoing conflict between the parties, the need for psychological evaluation and treatment, and refusal of parties to compromise with each other in the interests of the children. Providing accurate information in a timely manner and generally keeping me informed also helps limit the amount of time I must spend..