Definition of "Ad litem"

Laura  Rimkus real estate agent
Laura Rimkus, Real Estate Agent Coldwell Banker Realty

Need to know the Ad Litem definition after coming across this weird term?

Ad litem is short for “Guardian Ad Litem” or “Attorney Ad litem”, a legal term that refers to the person appointed by the court to investigate what results would be of best interest to the child (or a grownup that is legally incapacitated of representing himself) in the lawsuit at hand. The Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), then, represents that person and fights for that outcome.

The most common use for it is in divorce lawsuits. But in Real Estate it can also have many uses:

  • Say a kid becomes an orphan – a GAL will be appointed to act on his or her behalf in court regarding the kid’s rights to inheritance.
  • If a situation arises for a non-verbal person with special needs and no relatives that leads to a Homes for the disabled lawsuit, the court will also appoint a GAL.
  • It can even be used in a property litigation: to act on behalf of an estate if the owners are unavailable or unwilling to do so.

Lastly, in case you’re wondering: The root of the Ad Litem definition comes from Latin. The word Ad Litem means “for the suit”, or “for the proceeding”.


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