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What Is a Guardian ad Litem in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on September 21, 2023 in Children

Untitled---2023-09-21T135752.275.jpgEvery divorce is unique and comes with its own issues that need to be resolved in a settlement. But generally speaking, when parents are getting divorced, child custody issues can be the most difficult to resolve. When people want to get divorced, it can be very hard for them to put arguments aside and form a plan to raise their children together. With parents worrying about what they want out of their divorce settlement, they can often lose sight of their children’s best interests.

When parents cannot agree on how to divide their parental responsibilities in divorce, the court can appoint a guardian ad litem, or GAL. This person is a legal representative whose main goal is to advocate for the child. If you are moving towards an acrimonious divorce, you might worry that your spouse will fight you on every aspect of the settlement. An experienced Lombard, IL child custody lawyer can advocate passionately for an optimal arrangement for you and your children.


What Is a Guardian Ad Litem?

In the state of Illinois, parents going through divorce must come up with a parenting plan that will explain how parental responsibilities will be distributed. In some cases, the parents involved cannot agree on anything at all. In this kind of situation, the judge might order a guardian ad litem (GAL) to be appointed to the case.

A GAL is a licensed attorney experienced in figuring out divorce settlement issues that relate to the children involved. A GAL is usually court-appointed to advocate on behalf of a child’s interests in divorce proceedings involving domestic abuse or child custody disputes. Their goal is to have the child placed in the safest and healthiest environment for them.


What Does a Guardian ad Litem Do? 

The job of a GAL is to investigate each case carefully and then submit a report to a judge. The GAL’s recommendation is not legally binding, but a judge will often listen carefully to what a GAL has to say. As a GAL tries to determine what would be in the best interests of a child, he or she may do any of the following: 

  • Interview the child

  • Interview the parents

  • Interview teachers, doctors, and neighbors who know the child and/or the parents

  • Conduct home visits

  • Request a child’s school or medical records 

If your divorce is being settled in the State of Illinois, a GAL can be appointed to your case if either the judge or one of the parents thinks it would be best.


Call a Dupage County, IL Divorce Lawyer Today

If you and your spouse are going through a divorce but cannot seem to agree on anything, a GAL might be able to help smooth the process and ensure optimal results. An experienced Lombard, IL child custody attorney can advocate on behalf of your children’s best interests. Call A. Traub & Associates at 630-426-0196 today.

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