In Florida divorce, paternity, or other proceedings concerning a Parenting Plan, wherein a court will determine time-sharing and other issues regarding minor children, a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) may be appointed. The court may appoint a GAL on its own initiative, or by motion by one of the parties, or by stipulation of the parties. The court will enter an Order outlining the duties of the GAL, authority of the GAL to investigate and collect information, and notice to all that the GAL's access to the children and any records may not be withheld.
Per Florida Statute Section 61.403, the GAL is assigned to act as "next friend of the child". The GAL is expected by specific court order to perform their duties as investigator and evaluator who is looking out for the children's best interest. The GAL is NOT the child's attorney or advocate, and must report as to the best interest of the children, even when the child's best interests conflict with the child's desires. The GAL is NOT a decision-maker, but is expected to submit to the court a written report with findings.
Mr. Freyberg has a long professional history of working with children and families, and has extensive experience as a GAL. He has been a volunteer GAL in dependency cases since 2000. Even before Brevard County had a regular program for professional GAL services in family court, Mr. Freyberg was regularly called upon the judiciary to investigate and report regarding best interest of children in their most difficult family cases. Mr. Freyberg has a strong ability to establish rapport with children, and will work hard to get to know your children, in the interest of evaluating what is in their best interest. In pursuit of his strong commitment to child advocacy, Mr. Freyberg regularly volunteers his time to the academic programs at local schools, from reading and donating books to early elementary students, to teaching classes about the Bill of Rights to third graders and fifth graders at multiple schools, and to speaking to older students about the practice of law on Career Day.
Once a GAL has completed his investigation and evaluation, he is required to submit a written report to the court and to the parties and/or their attorneys. The report is permitted to contain hearsay, including statements by children and others, so long as the GAL provides specific information for contact with the third parties. Most often, the GAL will testify under oath regarding the results of his or her investigation and report.
Mr. Freyberg thoroughly enjoys working as a GAL, and he is committed to performing his duties as GAL thoroughly, fairly, and completely. He does not charge for his own travel expenses and time, and has travelled all over Brevard County, outside of Brevard County, and even out of state in order to effectively investigate the child's circumstances and the parents' circumstances. Mr. Freyberg often visits children and parents on weekends, to accommodate work and school. While professional GAL services are a paid service, Mr. Freyberg is willing to work with parties and their attorneys, including flexible pay and flexible means of payment.