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3 Tips for Dealing with a Guardian Ad Litem in a Child Custody Case

Posted on in Child Custody

Wheaton Family Law and Divorce lawyer

The issue of child custody can be quite contentious. Understandably, parents want the best for their children. When parents, grandparents, or other guardians disagree about what is best for the children, the situation can escalate quickly. In many child custody disputes, a guardian ad litem (GAL) is assigned to the case. The GAL’s job is to advocate for the child’s best interests. If a guardian ad litem has been assigned to your case, consider the following tips.

Prioritize Your Child’s Wellbeing

It goes without saying that divorce, child custody cases, and other family law cases can be quite difficult for children. Younger children may not understand what is going on and therefore reach the conclusion that they have done something wrong. Older children who understand the legal issues may feel awkward and unsure of how to respond. Keeping child-related schedules and routines as consistent as possible can help reduce the chaos brought into the child’s life during this time. It is also important to avoid sharing too much information with the children about the specifics of the case.

Cooperate With the Guardian Ad Litem

A GAL’s purpose is to advocate for children during a legal proceeding. If you are like many parents, you may find the GAL’s presence frustrating or even offensive. However, it is still important to cooperate with the guardian ad litem and his or her requests. If the GAL asks for paperwork or records like medical records or police reports, freely disclose this information. When the GAL conducts interviews, do not create unnecessary obstacles or withhold information.

Do Not Coach Your Child on What to Say

Guardians ad litem are often assigned in cases involving accusations of child abuse or domestic violence. If you were falsely accused of abusing the child, you may be worried about clearing your name. You may want your child to say or do certain things or avoid bringing up certain topics during the GAL interview. Unfortunately, coaching your child on what to say or what not to say can worsen your chances of a favorable outcome. It can also be quite stressful for the child.

Contact a DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody disputes can be complicated – both legally and personally. At Davi Law Group, we help parents, grandparents, and other adults negotiate child custody issues in a way that prioritizes the children’s wellbeing. We are also experienced in representing parents and other parties during cases involving a guardian ad litem. Call our Wheaton child custody attorneys at 630-657-5052 for a free consultation to learn more.

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K506

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