Section 61.402, Florida Statutes

Qualifications of guardians ad litem.—

(1)A person appointed as a guardian ad litem pursuant to s. 61.401 must be:

(a)Certified by the Guardian Ad Litem Program pursuant to s. 39.821;

(b)Certified by a not-for-profit legal aid organization as defined in s. 68.096; or

(c)An attorney who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar.

(2)

(a)Prior to certifying a guardian ad litem pursuant to paragraph (1)(b), the not-for-profit legal aid organization must:

1.Conduct a security background investigation as described in s. 39.821 for which the not-for-profit legal aid organization has the sole discretion in determining whether to certify a person based on his or her security background investigation; and

2.Provide training using the uniform objective statewide training program for guardians ad litem developed by The Florida Bar.

(b)The security background investigation and the training program requirements as provided in this subsection must be paid for by the not-for-profit legal aid organization or the person seeking certification as a guardian ad litem through the not-for-profit legal aid organization.

(3)Only a guardian ad litem who qualifies under paragraph (1)(a) or paragraph (1)(c) may be appointed to a case in which the court has determined that there are well-founded allegations of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect as defined in s. 39.01.

(4)Nothing in this section requires the Guardian Ad Litem Program or a not-for-profit legal aid organization to train or certify guardians ad litem appointed under this chapter.

(5)It is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, for any person to willfully, knowingly, or intentionally fail, by false statement, misrepresentation, impersonation, or other fraudulent means, to disclose in an application for a guardian ad litem any material fact used in making a determination as to the applicant’s qualifications for such position.

For the latest version of this statute, visit http://www.leg.state.fl.us.

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About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at www.FamilyDiplomacy.com. Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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