Does a court have authority to appoint a guardian ad litem for a son to whom the husband is not the father?

California, United States of America


The following excerpt is from Thomas v. Thomas (In re Marriage of Thomas), G053595 (Cal. App. 2018):

The court denied wife's oral request for appointment of a guardian ad litem for one of her sons, to whom husband is not the father. Contrary to her assertion, this was not error.3 Under section 372, a guardian ad litem may be appointed to represent a person "who lacks legal capacity to make decisions" in litigation. (Id., subd. (a)(1).) As the trial court explained, however, the son for which wife wanted a guardian appointed was not a party to this case and none of the matters before the court concerned him. Under these circumstances, the court acted appropriately in denying wife's request. (See In re Marriage of Lloyd (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 216, 222-223 [no authority for appointment of guardian ad litem in dissolution action because minor not party to the action]; Williams v. Superior Court (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 36, 47 ["The purpose of a guardian ad litem is to protect the minor's interests in the litigation"].)

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