When parties disagree about the parenting rights and responsibilities of each parent, often the court appoints a Guardian Ad Litem. This adds an additional time and cost to a divorce or parenting case. As with attorney fees, the cost of GAL can vary depending on the rate that he charges and the time demanded by the complexity of the case.
A GAL can be paid through "private pay" or through the "court fund." When a GAL is paid through a"private pay" case, the court’s order of appointment apportions the payment of the GAL’s retainer. The cost is not always split 50/50, and the division of the fees is reviewable at a final hearing. In New Hampshire, the retainer usually ranges between $1,000 and $1,500. Additionally, the hourly rate varies from $60 to $100 per hour.
When one or both parties cannot afford to pay for the GAL, the court may order the payment of services from the Guardian ad Litem court fund. When a party qualifies to use the court fund, the GAL is paid for her fees through the court’s fund. However, a party is required to contact the New Hampshire Office of Cost Containment to determine their ability to repay the fund for their share of the GAL services in their case.