Schult v. Schult

In Schult v. Schult, 241 Conn. 767, 769, 699 A.2d 134 (1997), the Supreme Court deliberated the question of whether, when a child had the representation of a guardian ad litem as well as counsel, it was permissible for counsel to advocate a position contrary to that of the guardian ad litem. The court eschewed a bright line rule, holding "that it is within the trial court's discretion to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether such dual, conflicting advocacy of position is in the best interests of the child." Id., at 777. When a guardian ad litem is appointed, the court concluded that, while "ordinarily the attorney should look to the guardian to ascertain the best interest of the minor-ward"; Schult v. Schult, supra, 241 Conn. at 783; such action is not required in every case. The court further concluded that "leaving the determination to the sound discretion of the trial court is particularly important in these difficult cases . . . . The trial court is in the best position to evaluate the child's need for representation as the case and the evidence unfold." Id., at 780-81.