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What Are Three Misconceptions Regarding Guardians Ad Litem?

 Posted on May 06, 2024 in Child Custody

Naperville, IL child custody lawyerIn Illinois divorce cases involving contested child-related issues, guardians ad litem (GAL) play an important role in representing the child’s best interests. However, a lack of proper understanding often leads to misconceptions about their duties and impact. If your Illinois divorce features contested child-related issues, a guardian ad litem may be beneficial to the situation. Discuss with an attorney your options and what may be best for you.

At Pesce Law Group, P.C., Attorney Pesce is himself a court-approved guardian ad litem. As a result, he understands when and how GALs can be most helpful in divorces featuring child-related issues. While Attorney Pesce will act exclusively as your attorney and not as your child’s guardian ad litem, he has a robust understanding of the purpose of GALs and can assist clients in understanding when a judge may be inclined to appoint a guardian ad litem to a divorce case.

Misconception #1: The Guardian Ad Litem Sides with One Parent

GALs take an objective stance in all cases. His or her primary goal is not to side with either parent but to represent the best interests of the child. The GAL carries out a thorough investigation involving interviews with both parents, the child, and other relevant parties. The GAL may visit the homes of the parents and examine case documents to ensure they obtain a comprehensive impression of the situation at hand. He or she will remain neutral throughout and base any recommendations on their investigation, aiming to enhance the child’s well-being.

Misconception #2: The Recommendations of the GALs Will Decide the Case

It is true that the GALs report greatly influences a court’s decisions. However, his or her recommendations will not be the final say. Judges in Illinois weigh many aspects while deciding on child-related matters. The judge may consider each parent’s financial capabilities, the mental and physical well-being of the child, and each parent’s willingness to facilitate a relationship between the child and the other parent. While the GAL findings are an important piece of the puzzle, the judge ultimately makes the final decision.

Misconception #3: GALs Cost a Considerable Amount of Money

There is a prevalent misconception that engaging a GAL in a custody case is bound to be extremely expensive. However, that is not exactly the truth. Many GALs charge hourly, and the hourly rates can vary widely. Many charge flat rates.

So while there will be costs involved, it is important to remember that a GAL's primary role is to protect the child's interests. The expense in effectively doing this is often considered worthwhile, as GALs can provide valuable insights and give the court in-depth insight regarding the child's best interests. It is recommended that parents view the cost of GALs in the context of ensuring the child's well-being.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Family Law Attorney

By debunking these common misconceptions, parents can more accurately illustrate how GALs operate in Illinois. Remember, each legal case is different, so hiring a highly knowledgeable attorney in contested child-related issues is imperative. For this type of quality guidance, contact the respected Naperville, IL divorce lawyers with Pesce Law Group, P.C.. Call 630-352-2240 for a complimentary consultation.

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