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Cooperating With a Guardian ad Litem

 Posted on May 24, 2016 in Parenting

guardian ad litem, Lombard family law attorneyWhile many divorcing parents are able to reach a reasonable agreement regarding parental responsibilities and parenting time, many others simply are not. In some cases, the parents are unable to put aside their personal differences and focus on the needs of the child. In others, each parent may have the absolute best intentions but are having difficulty compromising with one another. When proceedings for the allocation of parental responsibilities or other child-related concerns encounter such obstacles, the court may appoint a specially-trained lawyer to serve as guardian ad litem (GAL) for the duration of the case.

The GAL’s Role

A guardian ad litem acts essentially as an extension of the court. He or she is granted investigative powers to study the circumstances of the family and the child in question. The GAL may interview the child, each parent, siblings, and other relevant parties, as well as review court transcripts, financial documents, and any other evidence that may be helpful. Upon completing the investigation, the GAL prepares a recommendation for the court, based on what he or she believes would be the ideal situation for the child.

Facilitating the Investigation

If a GAL has been appointed to your case, it means that the court is looking for answers. It is important to remember that the GAL’s top priority is your child’s well-being. He or she will not simply the other parent’s side, nor will he or she just take yours. When speaking with the GAL, be honest and forthcoming about your family’s situation, and stick to the facts. If you have legitimate concerns about the other parent’s actions, express them reasonably, but avoid degrading or insulting the other parent out of anger.

Failure to Cooperate

Choosing to be uncooperative is not your best interest. A parent’s willingness to foster the relationship between the child and the other parent is a major factor in most cases. Therefore, if you refuse to help the GAL understand the true nature of your situation or are otherwise noncompliant with his or her requests, the outcome of your case could be dramatically affected. Based on your behavior, the court could restrict your parenting time, reduce your allocated parental responsibilities, and limit your parental rights.

Seek Legal Guidance

To learn more about your rights and responsibilities when working with a guardian ad litem, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney. We will review your case and help you understand your available options. Schedule your confidential consultation at A. Traub & Associates today, and put our team to work for you.



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