Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) Title 26

Family Court Administration maintains the Thurston County Registry.

When a GAL is ordered to be appointed and if the parties do not agree on who should be appointed, Court Administration will provide the parties the name of the next 3 GALs on the rotation list.

Before the Order Appointing GAL is signed by a judicial officer, the availability of the GAL to serve on the particular case should be confirmed by the parties.

Please call (360) 709-3295 for the next 3 names on the list.

GAL Roles & Responsibilities

​A Guardian ad litem is a person appointed by the Court to investigate and report factual information to the Court regarding parenting arrangements and what is in the best interests of children. Appointments are made from the Court’s Guardian ad Litem Registry on a rotational basis.

A guardian ad litem reviews the court file, meets with each parent, contacts others who have information related to the parents or children, and may meet with the children. In some cases a guardian ad litem will want to make a home visit.

Fees are charged for work done by guardians ad litem. Each guardian ad litem’s rates are posted on the Guardian ad Litem Registry. Some public funds are available to pay for a guardian ad litem if the parents are unable to pay.

GAL Qualifications

​Thurston County Family Law guardians ad litem must have a Bachelor’s Degree and experience working with children and families.

Additionally, the state of Washington requires that all guardians ad litem be trained on a curriculum developed by Washington’s Administrative Office of the Courts.

What to do if you need a Guardian ad Litem appointed

​If you need to have a guardian ad litem appointed in a family law case follow these procedures for best result:

1.  File your motion, declaration with any supporting documents, and financial declaration with the clerk of the court, provide copies of all documents to the other party.

2. File a Notice of Hearing and provide notice to all parties involved.

3.  Motions for these matters are heard at Family & Juvenile Court on the following calendars:

Family Law (with attorneys):
Family Law (self-represented)

Click here for the calendar schedule and session availability.

GAL Evaluation

​In an ongoing effort to monitor the work performance by our court appointed Guardians ad Litem (GAL), we are requesting that all attorneys, parties and judicial officers involved in this case complete both sides of this questionnaire.  The evaluations should be turned into Court Administration, right outside the office there is a box to drop these into.  Please note, this does not start a grievance process.

Click here for the evaluation form.

Information for Guardians ad Litem (GAL)

​Notice to GALs:

  • If at any time your information changes, please contact the GAL Registry Coordinator so they can update your information.
  • The Court’s policy requires each GAL on our list to accept one case for payment at public expense each year. The Court pays $50 per hour with a limit of 10 hours without prior approval of the Court.
  • GALs are expected to be familiar with the Superior Court Rules, with the Local Rules, and with civil procedure. Non-Attorney guardians ad litem should be particularly mindful of timeliness and the requirements of the RCWs.
Becoming a Guardian ad Litem

Applicant prerequisites:

1. Social Services/Mental Health:

a)  A minimum of a BA degree with four years of field experience working with children and families.
b)  A Masters degree with two years of field experience working with children and families.
c)  Licensed psychologist or psychiatrist with preference given to those who specialize, or have developed expertise, in working with children and families.

2.  Attorneys:

a)  Members of the Washington State Bar Association with one year experience in the practice of law including family law cases.

What to submit:


Background Check Information/Authorization

For questions regarding the application process please contact:
Wendy Mayo, Family Court Program Coordinator
(360) 709-3231

GAL Registry Coordinator

 Administrative Assistant

(360) 709-3295

Click here to send an email to the GAL Registry Coordinator.

Upcoming Training/Events

​ Coming soon.

Quick Links

Thurston County Superior Court Guardian ad Litem Code of Conduct

WA State Court Rules: Superior Court Guardian ad Litem Rules

Guardian ad Litem grievance and complaint procedures can be found in the local court rule LGALR 7.