Divorce can be quite costly, both financially and emotionally. This is especially true if you and your spouse have children. In addition, divorce can be challenging and confusing for children, who are too young to understand the complex nature of adult relationships. Therefore, to minimize the effect of a divorce on children, understanding their needs is essential to help ensure the process is as least traumatic as possible.
You may have heard of “guardian ad litem” and “child representative.” However, have you ever heard of a child specialist? This blog will explain what a child specialist is and how they may be helpful in your divorce case. If you are getting a divorce and have one or more children, contact an experienced Illinois divorce attorney to learn how best to protect your children during the divorce process.
Defining Guardian Ad Litem, Child Representative, Child Specialist, and Understanding Their Differences
A guardian ad litem is a lawyer chosen by the court to represent the child. He or she examines any allegations made during the divorce proceedings that pertain to alleged parenting problems during the marriage. They may be required during the proceedings to testify or submit a report to the court in which they detail their recommendations for how best to proceed in the child’s best interests. Guardian ad litem may investigate alleged domestic abuse, drug abuse, parenting insufficiencies, and more.
A child representative is also an attorney who inquires about the facts and circumstances of the case to determine and advocate for the child’s best interests. They meet with and interview the children and involved parties and may support alternate forms of dispute resolution. In contrast to guardian ad litem, a child representative cannot be a witness and testify in court.
Finally, we have child specialists. Child specialists are trained mental health professionals who are experts in child development and family procedures. They are often part of a collaborative divorce process, but parents can hire a child specialist at any time. To be clear, a child specialist is a neutral party. They do not represent either parent. Child specialists are beneficial because they can help parents traverse the divorce process with the ultimate goal of minimizing any adverse impact the divorce may have on the children. They help parents come together and agree on issues relating to their children. Child specialists can help lay the groundwork for positive co-parenting dynamics that will benefit you, your ex-spouse, and your children once the divorce has been finalized.
Contact a DuPage County Collaborative Divorce Attorney
If mishandled, a divorce can leave lifelong emotional scars on a child. To help ensure your children are protected, consult with the knowledgeable Wheaton, IL, divorce lawyers at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.. Call 630-462-9500 today for a complete consultation.