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What Is the Role of a Guardian Ad Litem in an Illinois Divorce Case?

Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce attorneyIt is not impossible to have an amicable divorce - some people are able to get a divorce without any major disputes. However, there are many couples whose relationship is so contentious that they are unable to be civil while they are going through a divorce, especially when it comes to child-related issues. Parents can turn into completely different people when there is an issue involving their child. Sometimes during a divorce, parents can lose sight of what is best for their child because of all of the arguing and anger. In cases such as those, the court will often appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to help make sure the child’s needs are being met and decisions are being made in their best interests.

What Is a GAL?

A GAL is an attorney who has been appointed to a case involving disputes regarding children. The attorney has special training in family law and child issues and has two main roles: to determine the best interests of the child and to conduct an investigation and report the findings to the court. In simple terms, the GAL is responsible for reporting recommendations for custody arrangements or other areas of family law.

What Does a GAL Do?

As soon as the court appoints a GAL, they will begin to observe the parents and try to understand the issues that exist in the case. In many cases, parenting time arrangements are one of the main points of contention. The GAL will then begin to conduct their investigation by looking into the parents’ lives and backgrounds. To do this, the GAL will conduct interviews with various individuals, including the parents, the child, and other relevant family members. If the GAL deems it necessary, they may also interview other people such as the child’s teachers, doctors, or the family’s neighbors.

Once the GAL has completed their investigation, they will begin compiling their report. The report will include their findings from the investigation, along with their recommendations regarding child custody and parenting time arrangements. A GAL is able to be called as a witness in court to testify about their findings, which is a unique aspect to this type of child representation. The judge is not required to follow the GAL’s recommendations, but they often take the findings into consideration.

A Wheaton, IL Divorce Attorney Can Help Protect Your Child

Having a GAL assigned to your case can be beneficial in many ways, especially if you believe your spouse is behaving unreasonably. At the Goostree Law Group, we can help you cooperate fully with a GAL that has been assigned to your case. We can also help you get a GAL assigned to your case if you believe it could be beneficial. Call our experienced DuPage County divorce lawyers today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K506

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