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What Should I Know about a Guardian Ad Litem in Illinois?

 Posted on March 13, 2024 in Child Custody in Illinois

IL divorce lawyerWhen parents get a divorce, they need to work out a settlement that includes child custody arrangements. While the parents’ respective wishes, means, and availability are taken into account, the courts place a great deal of priority on what is in the child’s best interests. Sometimes, parents in divorce proceedings can put their own interests aside for the sake of their child. Other times, this is simply not possible for them. In such cases, the court will likely appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) whose sole purpose is to advocate for the child. A knowledgeable Will County, IL family law attorney can explain what a GAL does and how they might be involved in your case.

What Does a GAL Do?

A guardian ad litem is someone the court appoints to represent a minor child's best interests in a case that concerns her. GALs are typically trained attorneys. They are tasked with collecting as much information as they can from people who are involved in and familiar with the case so that they can determine what sort of custody arrangement would best serve the child. They go through various steps to that end, including:

  • Speaking with the child
  • Speaking with the parents
  • Speaking with other people who can offer insight into the child’s life, including teachers, school nurses, doctors, neighbors, babysitters, and others
  • Reviewing medical and school records

Why Did the Court Appoint a Gal to Our Case?

Sometimes, the judge in a case feels they do not have enough information to make a ruling. Sometimes, things come to light during divorce proceedings that question how the situation has been portrayed. Sometimes, one of the parents asks for a GAL to be appointed. Whatever the case may be, a GAL is not a threat. They are not there to blame either parent and their appointment is not a reflection on you, but it is important to cooperate with them and provide any records or documentation they ask for.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Joliet, IL Family Law Attorney

If the court wants to appoint a guardian ad litem to your divorce case, an experienced Plainfield, IL divorce lawyer can explain the implications. At Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we have over 100 years of combined legal experience, and we understand how stressful it can be when other people have a say in your child’s future. We have worked on cases with GALs in the past, and we can answer your questions with sensitivity and compassion. Call 815-666-1285 to schedule a free consultation.

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