How Does a Guardian Ad Litem Affect a Divorce Case Involving Children?

IL custody lawyerWhen parents get divorced, they must figure out how to handle the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Some divorcing couples are able to reach an agreement about who will have the child on what days, who will retain the majority of the parenting time, and how important decisions about their child will be made. Other couples are unable to reach an agreement about one or more of these issues, and the court steps in to make a decision on the parents' behalf.

The court seeks to resolve child custody disputes in a way that best serves the child. In order to gain more insight into a custody dispute and determine what is in the child's best interests, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to the case.

What Does a Guardian Ad Litem Do?

A guardian ad litem is an attorney appointed by the court to represent a child's best interests in a divorce or child custody proceeding. The guardian's role is not to take sides or provide legal advice but instead to gather information and present an informed opinion to the court.

The guardian ad litem will meet with each parent and the child, if appropriate. The guardian may also interview other family members and friends that have knowledge of the child's life and circumstances. The guardian may evaluate school records, medical reports, and other documents relevant to the case. Sometimes, the guardian ad litem visits each parent's home to ensure that the homes are safe environments for the child.

The guardian ad litem (GAL) will then make a recommendation to the court about what he or she believes is in the best interests of the child regarding parental responsibilities and parenting time. If a court decides to follow the GAL's recommendation, that decision will become a legal ruling.

What Should I Do If a Guardian Ad Litem Was Assigned to My Case?

If a guardian ad litem is assigned to your case, it's important that you cooperate with the guardian throughout the process. The guardian ad litem will form an opinion about your parenting skills and home environment, so be sure to make a good impression. However, answer questions truthfully and do not try to hide anything. Cooperate with any requests for documents or other information, attend any meetings, and provide prompt responses to any inquiries. You should also consider retaining a family law attorney who will represent you during the process and ensure that your voice is heard.

Contact our Hinsdale Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer

At the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, we have extensive experience handling child custody disputes and other divorce-related matters. Our DuPage County family law attorneys know how important it is for a parent to receive an adequate amount of parenting time with their child and will work hard to secure a favorable outcome in your case. To learn more about what we can do for you, call 630-920-8855 and schedule a free initial consultation.




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