Northbrook, IL Guardian ad Litem Attorney

Our Commitment to Effective Child Advocacy through North Shore Guardian ad Litem Services

A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) may play an invaluable role in child custody decisions. If you and your spouse are getting divorced in court rather than using collaborative divorce strategies, a Guardian ad Litem will probably become involved in your case. Courts often send a Guardian ad Litem to perform a more thorough and skilled investigation when they are asked to create a parenting plan. Judges cannot get a complete and accurate picture of the child's life, needs, and relationship with both parents just by asking the child a few questions on the stand. Guardians ad Litem are specially trained to work with children in order to gather information that will help the court make a more informed decision.

Sucharski Law Firm LLC is dedicated to its Guardian ad Litem work and the children we serve. Our attorneys have helped create countless parenting plans, and we understand the difficulty of establishing a plan that works for both the child and the parents. We deeply understand each and every factor the courts use to make child custody decisions and how they apply to the real-life cases we handle. Our goal is to help parents help their children by leading the court toward the custody schedule best for the specific child in question.

What Does a Guardian ad Litem Do?

A Guardian ad Litem's job is to investigate and report back to the court. The GAL will meet with each child separately, one-on-one. During that meeting, your child will answer a lot of questions about their daily life, including things like which parent provides most of their care and how safe they feel in each household.

There is a list of specific factors Illinois courts must consider when making child custody decisions. The GAL will be intimately familiar with this list and will investigate each factor.

Factors, and how the GAL may assess them, include:

  • Child's wishes - Depending on the child's age and maturity level, their opinion may or may not be a serious consideration.
  • Parent-child relationships - The child's relationship with each parent is very important. Courts may not want to remove a child from the parent who has been providing almost all of their care.
  • Child's needs - Every child has different physical, emotional, mental health, and medical needs. The court needs to know what your individual child's personal needs are.
  • Child's adjustment - How well-adjusted the child is to their home, school, and community is important. A child who is not well-adjusted may benefit from a short move, but a child who is deeply entangled in their life might not.
  • Ease of custody transfers - If custody exchanges will be hard on the child, the court needs to know.
  • Other present parties - If either parent lives with someone else, the child's interaction with and safety around that person is paramount. For example, if your ex lives with her boyfriend, who yells and frightens your child, this is very relevant.
  • Mental and physical health - The court needs to know if either parent has a mental or physical health issue that may interfere with their ability to care for the child.

A GAL must spend many hours investigating how these factors and more apply to your particular situation. It is best to immediately seek the advice of an attorney if you have a divorce or child custody case that may be contested.

Contact a North Shore Guardian ad Litem Attorney

Sucharski Law Firm LLC is committed to protecting children and their parental relationships. We will work to ensure that the court has an accurate and thorough picture of the situation so that it can make the best possible decisions. We can also provide representation for parents who are involved in child custody cases, helping them understand the best ways to work with a Guardian ad Litem and demonstrate that they can provide for their child's best interests. Contact us at 224-276-6776 for a complimentary consultation.

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