Child-related matters in a divorce are often some of the most contentious aspects of a divorce case. They are also some of the most consequential aspects of the divorce. When divorcing parents disagree about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, a guardian ad litem may be assigned to the case. The guardian ad litem evaluates the circumstances of the custody dispute, investigates both parties, interviews family members and caretakers, and makes an informed recommendation to the court about the case outcome. Working with a GAL can sometimes be uncomfortable. He or she may need to ask personal questions, investigate the parents’ homes, and interview teachers or other people important to the child’s life.
If a guardian ad litem was assigned in your divorce or child custody case, here are a few tips to help you make the most of the situation.
Keep the GAL’s Intention in Mind
A guardian ad litem is expected to investigate the parties in a child-related legal dispute and determine what is best for the child. Although it can be awkward having someone investigating your personal life and home environment, it is important to keep the GAL’s intentions in mind. He or she is ultimately here for your child.
Do Not Lie to the Guardian Ad Litem
When it comes to working with a GAL, honesty is usually the best policy. He or she will likely have access to substantial information including the child’s medical records, school reports, any police reports you or your spouse filed, and more. It can be hard to keep something from the GAL and lying can degrade your credibility. It is important to be helpful and accessible. Provide the necessary information and documentation willingly and answer the GAL’s calls promptly.
Avoid Disparaging The Child’s Other Parent
If you are going through a divorce or child custody dispute, you may have many negative opinions about your ex. However, it is important to avoid disparaging your child’s other parent. If the GAL asks questions about him or her, answer honestly, but stick to the facts. For example, you can list specific dates and times that your ex was late picking up the child but avoid name-calling or overly emotional language.
Contact a Naperville Divorce and Family Law Attorney
Legal disputes involving children can be complex. The Naperville family lawyers at Goostree Law Group are here to help. Our skilled team includes three attorneys that are also certified guardians ad litem.
Call our office today at 630-364-4046 for a free consultation.