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Child Custody Battles with an Addiction-Plagued Spouse

 Posted on April 13, 2022 in Child Custody

naperville divorce lawyerThe turmoil and trauma involved in child custody battles can be severe, but it augments the dispute when one parent is afflicted with addiction. A divorce and family law attorney who understands the complexities of custody challenges will work on behalf of the client and in the child's best interest. Usually, the court appoints a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) and a Child Representative. Their evaluation will help facilitate the child-custody decree. A dedicated family law attorney will provide dispute resolutions to mitigate the family's emotional stress and financial burdens.

Five Addictions that Trigger Child-Custody Battles  

A spouse suffering from addiction can wreak havoc on the child’s emotions and parental relationships. Substance abuse addiction impairs judgment and decision-making and can lead to domestic violence, further endangering the child. The risky behaviors of addicted spouses can significantly impact the court’s decisions in custody battles. Such addictions include, but are not limited to substance abuse, porn addiction, gambling addiction, compulsive shopping, and sex addiction. 

Failing to follow provisions, like addiction treatment, of the child-custody decree may lead to restricted parenting time or other consequences. Contingent on recovery or relapse, the family law lawyer will be able to make modifications to the decree.

What is the Difference Between a Guardian Ad Litem and a Child Representative?

A Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is an advocate for the child with the intent of protecting the child's best interest during a custody case. A GAL works for the judge on behalf of the minor, and their investigation influences the judge's final decisions. Aside from providing recommendations, a GAL can be called as a witness during the case. A judge usually appoints the GAL but clients can also request one. The parents or guardians of the minor are often charged the GAL's legal fees. If the clients cannot pay, payment may be made from a county fund. GALs are trained and certified through the Department of Children and Family Services. To remain current, GALs must complete annual continuing education requirements.

A Child Representative is an attorney for the child and is bound by attorney-client privilege;. Therefore, a child representative cannot be called as a witness to testify. Like GALs, child representatives advocate for the child's rights and their best interests. A child representative serves as the voice of the child. Child Representatives train in child advocacy and receive custody cases by appointment.

Contact a Naperville Family and Divorce Lawyer

At Pesce Law Group P.C., we are a full-service family law and divorce firm with a court-approved Guardian Ad Litem (GAL).  We are compassionate and sensitive to the needs of our clients, and we work aggressively for favorable and peaceful resolutions. For a free consultation, contact a Burr Ridge family lawyer at 630-230-1002.


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