family & personal matters
A guardian ad litem is a guardian that a court appoints to watch after someone during a case.
The person being watched over is called a ward, and a court will appoint someone to watch after the ward when the ward cannot take care of himself or herself. This is typically because the ward is a minor or is legally incompetent.
All states have laws dealing with the "emancipation" of minors; that is, laws that specify when and under what conditions children become independent of their parents for important legal purposes. A complete reference to statutory provisions for all 50 states, pertaining to termination of parental rights, age of majority or emancipation itself, can be found in the LII State Law pages.