It is not uncommon for divorcing couples to disagree on matters that they must settle during a divorce, but when those issues involve decisions that affect their children, the matter is suddenly more serious. Studies have shown that conflict, whether during marriage or divorce, can cause harmful, long-term effects, such as low self-esteem, depression and anxiety, and even less stability in their own romantic relationships. When parents cannot come to an agreement on child-related issues during a divorce, a judge will make the determination. But a judge does not know anything about your family beyond what he or she has observed in the courtroom. To help them better understand the dynamics of the situation and make an informed decision, they may appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to your case.
What is a GAL?
According to Illinois laws, a guardian ad litem is an attorney who is appointed to a case to determine what is in the best interest of the child. Their job is to investigate the family situation and make reports pertaining to whatever the case’s contested issues may be, which often include the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, visitation, and/or child support. Because of this, the GAL is often referred to as the “eyes and ears” of the court.
How a GAL Can Help
There are many benefits to working with a GAL, especially when an agreement cannot be reached with your spouse. A GAL will conduct a full investigation into your family and the situations surrounding the disagreement. To do this, the GAL will do things like:
Interview your child or observe them if they are too young to be interviewed.
Interview family members and other people who may have valuable information about the child, like teachers or caretakers.
Review all documents related to the child and relevant to the issue at hand; and/or
Visit and interview each parent at their residence.
Contact Our DuPage County Child Issues Attorney Today
As a parent, you only want what is best for your child, but sometimes your emotions can cloud your judgment. After all, we are only human. At the Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C., we can help you petition for a GAL if necessary or guide you through the process if one has been appointed to your case. Our Wheaton, IL child issues lawyers are here to help you protect your child’s best interests. To begin discussing your case and schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-416-7004.