The ABC’s of Guardian Ad Litem

 Aurora family law attorney, child attorney, child custody ethics, child development, custody determination, guardian, guardian ad litem, Illinois divorce proceedings, Illinois family lawyerIn divorce proceedings, parents may agree completely on the custody and treatment of dependent children. Yet when this is not possible, the court may appoint an individual to aid in the process. This individual will fill one of three roles: a child representative; a guardian ad litem (GAL); or a child attorney. It is essential to make yourself aware of their duties, qualifications, and impact on custody.

In the case of an older child, a child’s attorney may be appointed to represent the best interests of the parties’ child/children in exactly the same role as would an adult be counseled. However, with younger children, either a child representative or guardian ad litem (GAL) may be appointed. The difference between the two is that only the GAL may be summoned to testify in court; as the very need for the involvement of such an official stems from disagreement. The likelihood of the divorcing parties wishing to contest or examine the findings of a third party will more often dictate the appointee being a guardian ad litem.

Qualifications and Duties of a Guardian ad Litem

As an attorney for the child(ren) a guardian ad litem is required to investigate the facts of the case and interview children and parents. The GAL is also required to report to the court – either in testimony or in writing – the recommendations in accordance with the best interests of the child(ren).

According to the DuPage County courts, besides maintaining an Illinois law license and an office within the county, the guardian ad litem must undergo training determined by the court in areas of child development, ethics in child custody, relevant state and federal case law relating to custody and visitation, and family dynamics to include domestic abuse and mental health issues.

Consult a Family Law Attorney

The introduction of another party into divorce and custody determination can alter the dynamics of the process, with their recommendations often carrying great weight in the outcome. To examine the need (or not) for a guardian ad litem, to be observant of their qualifications and exact role, and to understand at all turns their appropriate role, contact an Illinois family lawyer for counsel. The lawyers at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., provide legal assistance to those residing in the cities of Aurora, Oswego and Naperville.

Share this Post : Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
This entry was posted in Aurora Family Law Attorney, Child Custody, Illinois family law attorney and tagged , , , , , , , , .

Comments are closed.

Logo Image 1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307
Aurora, IL 60505
Phone: 630-409-8184
Facebook   Twitter   Google Plus   Our Blog