Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

Joliet Office


Plainfield Office


How Will a Guardian Ad Litem Affect My Divorce in Illinois?

Posted on

Plainfield, IL divorce attorney guardian ad litem

Illinois has comprehensive child representation laws to protect a child’s best interests when their parents are divorcing or separating. In some cases, spouses may contest child support, child custody, parenting time, education, parentage, and their child’s general welfare. Before making a decision, the court may appoint a professional to serve the child either as an attorney, a child representative, or a guardian ad litem (GAL). If he or she functions in the capacity of an attorney, he or she will provide the same independent legal counsel and representation for the child that would be given to an adult client. A child representative tries to ascertain the best interests of the minor and offer evidence-based legal arguments to the court, but it is important to understand that he or she cannot render opinions during the divorce proceedings.

What Is a Guardian Ad Litem?

A guardian ad litem is like an investigator for the court: He or she will interview both parents, examine the child’s home and school life, and provide a written report of his or her recommendations to the court and all other involved parties. The court can call the GAL as a witness for cross-examination purposes. You and your spouse will have to decide how to split the guardian ad litem office’s fees, as the court does not cover them. If a court is assigning a GAL to your divorce case, it is crucial to work with a family law attorney and discuss how you should work with the GAL to receive the parental rights and responsibilities you desire. 

Tips for Working With a Guardian Ad Litem

Think of a guardian ad litem primarily as an interviewer. He or she will want to get to know you and your spouse individually and determine which one of you is more fit to take primary custody responsibilities. Try to make an excellent first impression on a GAL without unnatural or forced behavior. Make sure your home is clean and in order prior to the visit. Remember to pay fees on time or discuss a payment plan with the court. Be positive, and do not disparage your spouse or force your child to say good things about you. Let your child know who the guardian ad litem is and why he or she is visiting, and most importantly, be honest and forthcoming with any requested information. It is crucial that you develop transparency between you and the GAL. 

Contact a Plainfield, IL Divorce Lawyer

Remember, Illinois’ child representation laws exist to defend your child’s best interests, so stay calm and be honest when meeting with a guardian ad litem or child representative. To gain more insight into what a guardian ad litem does and how he or she could affect your divorce case, speak with an experienced Will County family law attorney. Call the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., today at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to schedule a free consultation.




  • Badges and Associations
  • Badges and Associations
  • Badges and Associations
Back to Top