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Representation of Children in Oak Brook

Glen Ellyn Lawyers Serving as Guardians Ad Litem

Illinois law gives children a very strong voice in custody (parental responsibilities) and visitation (parenting time) proceedings. For example, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act contains one of the broadest child interview laws in the country. Judges may speak with children of any age at almost any time for almost any reason. Furthermore, in complex or contested divorce cases, most judges do not hesitate to appoint an independent advocate for children. This advocate is typically a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), though the advocate may serve in other capacities as well.

Attorney Don Pesce is fully qualified to serve as a Guardian Ad Litem in DuPage County. More importantly, he has a well-deserved reputation as an attorney who is always prepared and always serves as a zealous advocate for his clients, whatever their age or status. This experience gives him a unique insight into complex custody matters.

Qualifications

According to Supreme Court rules, a GAL must complete at least 10 hours of specialized training prior to certification. Subsequently, ongoing continuing education requirements must be met annually. The subjects must include targeted areas, such as family dynamics, child development, ethical issues, and substance abuse.

Over the years, GALs have collectively developed proven methods in their chosen field, and each attorney has complete and full access to this body of knowledge. In a nutshell, GALs possess an additional skill set that some other area family law attorneys may be lacking.

Types

Though they have different roles, each type of professional has a common goal: the best interests of the children in a given situation.

  • Guardian Ad Litem: This category is not only an umbrella term. It also has specific meaning. The GAL has broad investigative powers in a family law case. After this investigation, they file a report with the Court. They may also file active pleadings in a case.
  • Attorney for the Child: Judges sometimes appoint independent counsel for older children. Attorneys for the child are strong advocates for their clients throughout the entire process.
  • Child Representative: Many times, a case may require a hybrid between a GAL and Attorney for the Child, and a Child Representative can fulfill both roles. These attorneys have the investigative powers of a GAL and the advocacy abilities of an Attorney for the Child.

Most courts routinely appoint a GAL if there are abuse allegations, dishonesty allegations between the spouses, or if the children are quite young.

A qualified Guardian Ad Litem gives children a strong voice in family law matters. For skilled representation in your divorce by an attorney experienced in advocating for children's best interests, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. at 630-352-2240 for a free consultation. We serve families throughout DuPage County and neighboring jurisdictions.

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