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What Does a Guardian ad Litem Do?

 Posted on May 09, 2022 in Divorce / Family Law

geneva family law attorney Child custody proceedings can be incredibly stressful, even when both parents are fit and amicable with one another. When the case gets a bit more contentious, or certain other circumstances are present, the court may appoint a special attorney or social worker called a Guardian ad Litem. It can feel alarming to learn that a Guardian ad Litem has been appointed for your children during your custody case, but there is generally nothing for you to worry about. When the judge appoints a Guardian ad Litem, it is not because they do not think that you are a good parent. Rather, the role of a Guardian ad Litem is simply to help the court understand what course of action might be best for your children. An attorney can help you better understand what the Guardian ad Litem’s role will be in your particular case.

When do Courts Consider Bringing in a Guardian ad Litem?

Guardian ad Litems are not automatically appointed in every child custody proceeding. It is more likely that the court will bring one in if: 

  • Suspected abuse - If there is any allegation or suspicion that either you or your child’s other parent has abused or neglected the children or would otherwise be harmful to them, it is very likely that a Guardian ad Litem will be asked to investigate. If you are getting a divorce or separating from an abusive co-parent, a Guardian ad Litem can actually help you quite a bit.

  • Contentious - When both parents are able to agree on a custody and visitation plan, there is generally no need for a Guardian ad Litem. However, when there is going to be litigation over this issue, the court may ask a Guardian ad Litem to conduct an independent, unbiased investigation to determine what type of plan would be in the children’s best interests.

What Does a Guardian ad Litem do?

Think of a Guardian ad Litem as your children’s impartial representatives. If your child is old enough, the Guardian ad Litem will speak to them alone in an effort to get answers about the child’s relationship with both parents and what the child might want. These special representatives are trained to identify whether a child has been “coached” on what to say by one parent.

The Guardian ad Litem may also review evidence like your child’s school records to determine how well-adjusted the child is and what their needs might be. Essentially, this individual is there to help the court make sure that your child’s interests come first.

Contact a Kane County Child Custody Lawyer

If you are facing a child custody battle, Loire Krajniak Law, LLC can help. Our skilled Geneva child custody attorneys want to help you guard the relationship you share with your child. Call 630-448-2406 for a free consultation.



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