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What to Know About Guardian ad Litems in Illinois

 Posted on January 25, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Lombard, IL family lawyerWhen parents are pursuing a divorce, the most contentious issues that must be resolved are often related to issues regarding child custody. It is common for divorcing parents to disagree with each other on matters relating to their child. Which parent will be responsible for specific parental responsibilities, where will the child's primary residence be, and transportation arrangements are common questions many parents getting divorced need to answer. As all these questions swirl around, it is easy for parents to get caught up and forget the most important thing: what is best for their child? 


Suppose parents find it difficult or even impossible to agree on matters relating to their child. In that case, the court may find it necessary to appoint a legal representative to advocate for the child, also known as a guardian ad litem (GAL). For the purpose of this blog, we will delve deeper into what a GAL is and its purpose in family law cases. If you and your spouse are getting a divorce and are finding it difficult or impossible to come to agreements on child-related matters, contact an attorney who will work tirelessly to resolve any outstanding issues and will serve as an advocate for you and your child throughout the child custody process. 

What Does a Guardian ad Litem Do? 

In Illinois divorce cases, parents are responsible for creating a parenting plan that serves as the blueprint for how the parents will split up parental responsibilities and parenting time. If parents cannot agree with each other, the court could appoint a guardian ad litem. 


The GAL will start by interviewing both parents and the child or children. During this time, the GAL will likely visit each parent's home and may also contact others involved in their children's lives, like teachers, physicians, or even the extended family of the child or children. The GAL will also likely meet with both parents to find out their preferred arrangement and encourage them to come to an agreement on child-related issues. 


After the GAL’s investigation, they will provide the court with their findings and recommendations for how child-related issues can be resolved while prioritizing the child's best interests. The GAL may be called as a witness in a trial and even be cross-examined by each party's attorney. 

What Role Does a Parenting Coordinator Play? 

A parenting coordinator might also be appointed if parents are unwilling to cooperate to solve any outstanding child-related issues. Parenting coordinators are qualified mediators and will work to resolve any existing conflicts and help the parents reach an agreement. While the parenting coordinator cannot make any decisions regarding child-related issues, they are there to help the parents work together. They may also help the parents set guidelines for how to best communicate with each other. 

Contact a Lombard, IL, Child Custody Lawyer 

Contact the compassionate DuPage County child custody attorneys at A. Traub & Associates if you are finding it difficult to agree with your soon-to-be ex-spouse regarding child-related matters. Call 630-426-0196 for a private consultation.


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