There are times when two parents cannot work together to make decisions that are in the best interests of their children in a custody case. In other cases, a child may have special needs that require additional involvement in the decision making process from someone whose job it is to advocate for and represent their interests. A court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child. Essentially, they act as a lawyer for the child throughout the custody process.
The Guardian’s Role Is to Make Recommendations to the Court
A judge can appoint a guardian ad litem in a custody case after one parent has filed a motion in court or because the judge has concerns about the getting facts of the case correct. The term “guardian” is somewhat misleading, however. The guardian ad litem does not have any legal authority over the child; only the court retains the authority to make decisions about the child when necessary.
Instead, a guardian ad litem will assist the court in reaching decisions about the minor child. They usually speak to both of the parents about a situation to learn more about the parents, their home environment, the child, and the child’s needs. The guardian then makes a recommendation to the court. In essence, the court is delegating some of its fact-finding to the guardian.
Judges Often Listen to the Guardian ad Litem
The judge will carefully consider the guardian ad litem’s recommendation when they are making decisions about a custody matter. While the judge does not always adopt the guardian ad litem’s recommendation, they will take it very seriously. Oftentimes, a judge has a trusted relationship with certain guardians ad litem and they will follow what the guardian ad litem recommends.
What Should a Parent Do When a Guardian ad Litem Has Been Assigned to Their Case?
It is essential that a parent cooperates with the guardian ad litem to the fullest extent possible. You should show them that you have your children’s best interests in mind and are doing your part to further them. You should never act aggressively or rudely towards the guardian ad litem because it can harm your case in court.
Contact a Will County Family Law Attorney Today
A guardian ad litem may be necessary in a contentious divorce case. Before your case reaches this point, you need legal help. Contact the Naperville divorce lawyers at [[title]] to learn more about your legal options for your divorce case. You can schedule a free consultation by calling us at [[phone]].