5 Things to Get “Right” When a Guardian Ad Litem Has Been Appointed to Your Child Custody Case
Child custody battles can get ugly, fast, and in some cases, there is a need to ensure that the child’s well-being is not at risk. In these situations, a Guardian Ad Litem may be appointed. What do you do if this happens during your Illinois custody case, and how should you respond?
Avoid the Panic and Prepare for the Process
When parents learn that a Guardian Ad Litem, they often go into panic mode. Unfortunately, this does nothing to benefit the case. In fact, if anything, such a reaction could jeopardize the proceedings and, ultimately, the outcome of your Illinois child custody case. As such, it is recommended that parents put their energy into preparation, rather than panic.
If you have not done so already, ensure you have legal representation to help you through the process. Also, consider taking a parenting class to prove that you are not just a good parent, but a proactive one. Parents should also prepare for the interview and home study process, which are fairly standard in cases involving a Guardian Ad Litem.
Stay Focused on Your Child’s Needs
Often, a Guardian Ad Litem is brought into a child custody case at a parent’s request. Perhaps your child’s other parent was worried that you would not be able to provide a safe and stable home environment, so they are bucking against your request for equal parenting time, or they may want to seek revenge because you asked for a divorce. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important that you take the high road here; resist the urge to lash out at the other parent and, instead, remain focused on your child’s needs throughout the process.
Be Honest with the Guardian Ad Litem
Rarely does a court appoint a Guardian Ad Litem without cause. Perhaps your spouse made their case sound compelling, or perhaps there are things from your past that have tarnished your reputation. In either case, it is important that you are honest with your child’s Guardian Ad Litem, as they are usually quite skilled in detecting discrepancies within a parent’s testimony. Remember that they are not looking for perfection, just an issue that could put your child at risk. Also, note that you may need an attorney if you do have issues that could damage your case.
Inform Your Child but Do Not Share Too Much Information
While you do want your child to be aware of the situation (if for no other reason than to reduce the risk of maladjustment issues during the process), it is important that you do not share too much information with them. Children are an extension of their parents, so getting in the way of their relationship with your ex may ultimately hurt them. Moreover, by sharing too many details with your child, you run the risk of creating panic, which could cause them to behave in undesirable or uncharacteristic ways (i.e. lying to the Guardian Ad Litem to protect you).
Contact Our Wheaton Family Law Attorneys
Custody cases can often benefit from the aid of a seasoned family law attorney, but when a Guardian ad Litem is involved, it is almost critical to have a seasoned legal professional on your side. Davi Law Group, LLC is one of the most trusted names in family law. Whatever the situation, we will work hard to protect your time and relationship with your child. Call 630-580-6373 and schedule a consultation with our skilled DuPage County family law attorneys today.