A Guardian ad Litem, Latin for "guardian for the suit", is a person appointed by the courts to represent a child or children's best interests in a custody, adoption, name change, or other case impacting the children. The Guardian ad Litem will conduct an independent investigation of the issues surrounding the child, and report back to the court as to what that investigation finds to be in the child's best interest. The Guardianad Litem is often referred to as the "eyes and ears of the court".
Attorney Audrey Brown is certified to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the Family Courts of South Carolina, and brings years of experience with children to her service as a Guardian ad Litem. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies, has worked for over seven (7) years in early childhood education, and has served as a Guardian ad Litem in both private cases and DSS proceedings. As step-mother to a teenager, Audrey has first-hand understanding of the joys and challenges facing parents and blended families. She is a member in good standing of the South Carolina Bar, and participates regularly in child-focused Continuing Legal Education training, including an annual Guardianad Litem training and update program.
Serving as a Guardian ad Litem is one of Audrey's favorite areas of practice, due to the direct positive impact that it allows her to make in the life of a child. From the time she was a child herself, Audrey loved working with children, and her entire life has been dedicated to finding ways to do so. As a preschooler she told her parents, repeatedly, that she “wanted a baby brother, or sister, or both.” A spoiled child, she became big sister to two brothers. From their birth, she was a staunch advocator for their best interests. At five years old, when her newborn brother was crying and the childminder tried to calm her concern for his distress by pointing out that the baby had just eaten and it wasn’t lunch time yet, she indignantly retorted that, “He’s a baby, babies can’t tell time!” This perceived failure to provide proper care to her helpless sibling was duly reported to their parents at pick-up time.
After high school Audrey went directly to college, intent on becoming an elementary education teacher. At the start of her sophomore year Audrey was able to secure a work study position in the 3-4 year old classroom of her campus’ child development center, and realizing that she most loved working with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, she changed her major slightly, graduating with a degree in Child & Family Studies. Audrey worked in the 3-4 year old classroom until graduation, and after school secured a full-time position in the center’s infant classroom.
Eventually, realizing that while she loved working with the children, she also had a love for the law, Audrey went back to school, this time for a post-baccalaureate paralegal certificate. She found a position with a real estate and estate planning and probate law firm. To connect her love of the law and her love of working with children, Audrey served as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem during this time, resigning with great regret only when it became clear that her full-time 9-5 job was making it impractical for her to properly interview the professionals involved in the cases she was assigned.
When Audrey went back to school a second time, pursuing her law degree, she decided to focus heavily on family law. She took domestic relations and advanced domestics relations courses and a children and the law seminar, participated in family-law focused internships, including an internship with Charleston County Family Court Judge The Honorable Paul W. Garfinkel, and began again serving as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem.
Audrey takes pride in her prompt, thorough investigations and communication with the parties and attorneys. She is available for local investigations, and is also always happy to travel if necessary for the investigation.