A potential client, who was already represented by another lawyer, came in for a legal second opinion in a child custody case. It is not unusual in such highly emotional cases for a client to need some reassurance that everything is fine. I did an evaluation of the case and made some suggestions and encouraged the client to meet with the child's guardian ad litem. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss co-parenting counseling, since the basic problem was obvious-The parents couldn't communicate. They were spending thousands of dollars fighting in court, which was doing nothing to help the problem. They were doing nothing, however, to address the REAL problem!
The client googled co-parenting therapy. She learned what it was about and was impressed that it could actually help with the parents' rapidly deteriorating situation. She then contacted the guardian ad litem who is supposed to be a trained specialist-who said that since she was not familiar with co-parenting therapy (and apparently did not want to go to the effort to google it), that she would not recommend it. This is a travesty. The legal system, at its best, can direct people to resources that actually can help them. At its worst, the legal system just keeps them churning in and out of court.