Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed a bill setting new standards for guardians ad litem and counsels for minor children, who represent children in divorce and custody cases.

The bill was a compromise measure that grew out of contentious disputes about the state’s family court system. It passed the Senate and House unanimously. Legislators critical of the system agreed to the bill, but plan to pursue additional changes next year.

Under the new law, people involved in a divorce or custody case can request a specific guardian ad litem or counsel for minor children be appointed, or choose one from a court-provided list of 15 options.

Judges must provide specific information when guardians ad litem or counsels for minor children are appointed, such as the duties involved, length of the appointment, fee schedule and a schedule for reviews by the court.

The law also allows people to request that the guardian ad litem or counsel for minor children in their case be removed, and directs the state judicial branch to develop a hearing process to address those requests.

In addition, the judicial branch is required to set up a sliding scale for fees, which judges can order for people based on income, although it’s not required. Courts will be prohibited from requiring that guardian ad litem fees be paid from a child’s college savings funds. And the judicial branch will develop a code of conduct for guardians ad litem and counsels for minor children, as well as a publication on their roles and responsibilities.

Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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