If you are part of a difficult divorce or a parenting time and responsibilities battle, you may want to consider requesting the court appoint a guardian ad litem for your child. A guardian ad litem is an objective third party assigned by a judge to determine the best interests of a child during a court case. This professional, who is usually an attorney, has a thorough understanding of the factors used to determine a child’s best interests under Illinois law and experience navigating complex family situations. While a guardian ad litem will provide an opinion to the court regarding the best situation for your child, he or she does not make any legal decisions
If you believe a guardian ad litem may be necessary for your case or your child’s other parent has petitioned the court for one, contact us at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. today. We can help you navigate a difficult situation, with or without a guardian ad litem involved.
When Should a Child Have a Guardian ad Litem?
A child may need a guardian ad litem during a legal battle when you and the other parent cannot come to an agreement on what is best for your son or daughter. Issues that can become contentious and lead to the appointment of a guardian ad litem include disagreeing on:
- Who should be able to make important and day-to-day decisions for the child
- Where your child should live
- Where your child should go to school
- Who else should be able to spend time with and influence the child, including romantic partners and grandparents
- Your child’s medical care
- Your child’s religious upbringing
Other situations that necessitate the appointment of a guardian ad litem include allegations of:
- Alcohol or drug abuse by a parent or another member of the child’s household
- Physical abuse toward the child or another member of the child’s household
- Psychological abuse toward the child or another member of the child’s household
Asking the Court to Appoint a Guardian for Your Child
If you are concerned about the other parent’s behavior or that he or she does not have your child’s best interests in mind, it may be in your favor to ask the court to appoint a guardian ad litem. If you want another adult to learn about the situation and provide an opinion to the court about what is best for your son or daughter, contact us today. We can guide you through requesting a guardian for your child during a parenting time and responsibilities case.
Working With a Guardian ad Litem
Having a guardian ad litem for your child can feel stressful and uncomfortable. This person will want to talk with you, your child’s other parent, your son or daughter, and other adults in your child’s life. It can feel like you are being investigated or put on trial for how you parent.
However, despite the discomfort, it is important to work with the guardian ad litem, answer his or her questions, and allow him or her access to your life. Only through your cooperation can you show the guardian your ability and desire to provide for your child.
A Guardian ad Litem is Not Always Necessary
A guardian ad litem is unnecessary when you and your child’s other parent disagree, yet there are no deeply contentious or worrisome circumstances. If you and your child’s mother or father have simply not yet come to an agreement, the judge may require you go through mediation to develop a parenting time and responsibilities arrangement together.
Contact Our DuPage Parental Responsibilities Lawyers
If you are seeking parenting time and parental responsibilities in regard to your child and are concerned about the other parent’s health, behavior, or living situation, contact us at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. at 630-961-0060 to schedule a consultation.