An alarming number of Minnesota children face neglect or abuse. Unable to advocate for themselves, these children may be forced to suffer in silence. The Minnesota Guardian ad Litem Program aims to address this problem by ensuring that the best interests of vulnerable children are represented in court. Keep reading to learn more about this influential program — and its impact on child custody and parenting time.

Guardian ad Litem: The Basics

The term ‘Guardian ad Litem’ essentially means ‘guardian of the lawsuit.’ This individual is charged with advocating on behalf of children when matters involving their welfare are negotiated in court. In short, the Guardian ad Litem acts as a court-based spokesperson for children in need of advocacy. This person’s sole consideration involves the best interests of the child.

To ensure accurate feedback, Guardians ad Litem conduct thorough interviews with not only the children they serve, but also with a variety of people who may hold influence in the lives of those children. This information is then compiled in a recommendation for the court. While Guardians ad Litem are not responsible for the final decision, they can hold significant sway over local judges.

How Does a Guardian ad Litem Differ From a Legal Guardian?

A Guardian ad Litem is not a legal guardian. While the Guardian ad Litem provides useful advocacy in court, his or her role ends there. This individual is not responsible for providing the child a home or handling the child’s general property or care.

The experts at the Brown Law Offices understand all aspects of child custody and parenting time in Minnesota — including the crucial role Guardians ad Litem can play in family matters. Contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more.

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Photo of Cynthia Brown Cynthia Brown

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served…

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served as the law clerk to the Honorable Timothy R. Bloomquist, retired Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Upon completing her clerkship, Cynthia practiced with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003.

Cynthia has handled a wide variety of family law matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child protective services, orders for protection and harassment restraining orders. Many of her clients have also asked her to provide guidance concerning their estate planning needs.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor, public defender and criminal investigator. In addition to her family practice, Cynthia routinely represents clients facing criminal charges such as DWI, assault, theft and criminal sexual misconduct.

Cynthia founded the Amigos de Guatemala Foundation in 2007. She is a former Board Member and President of the Foundation, which provided educational, health and financial resources to underprivileged Guatemalan citizens. Her interest in serving the impoverished began with a medical mission trip to Honduras in 1994.

When she is not practicing law, Cynthia enjoys scrap-booking, soap-making, ATV riding and spending time with family.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Child Protective Services
  • Restraining Orders
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Bar Admission
  • Minnesota State Bar, 1998
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 1998
  • University of South Dakota, 1995
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Panel Attorney, Anoka County County Family Law Clinic
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper
  • Author, Family Law Forum
  • Author, Divorce Magazine