What If a Judge Has Appointed a Guardian ad Litem to My Case?

Rolling Meadows family lawyerIf you are involved in a combative or complicated child custody dispute, you may be surprised to find that a judge has appointed a guardian ad litem to your case. Although having a guardian ad litem assigned to represent the interests of your child can be intimidating, this is a fairly normal court procedure, and it does not have to be something to be afraid of.

Our last post discussed what a guardian ad litem is and what they do; here, we discuss what you should do if one has been assigned to your case.

Be Calm and Communicative

If a judge has already appointed a guardian ad litem to represent your child’s interests, do not panic. It doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong. Usually, a judge will do this because they need more information to get an objective sense of what is best for your child.

Remain calm, be completely honest, and communicate openly with the guardian ad litem. Do not seek to influence the information your child gives the guardian ad litem. Hiding information or lying in an attempt to make your situation seem better than it is–or to make the other parent’s situation seem worse–can seriously harm your chances of getting custody.

Consider What is Best For Your Child

If a judge has decided a guardian ad litem is necessary, the judge will likely rely heavily on the guardian ad litem’s report in order to make a decision. This means everything you do will be under scrutiny and will be weighed in the balance of what is best for your child.

If it seems that you unduly criticize the other parent, that you are trying to alienate the child from their other parent, or that you are inadvertently exposing the child to unnecessary conflict or trauma due to the divorce and custody battle, the judge will look upon this poorly. Likewise, the guardian ad litem’s report will discuss your general home environment, including how the social, academic, familial, and nutritional needs of the child are met.

While you should be honest and authentic, this period may provide a chance to reflect on your lifestyle and home environment, and whether it is a positive, nurturing place for a child. Chances are, any changes you might make to positively influence the opinion of the court are likely going to change your child’s life for the better.

Contact a Cook County Family Law Attorney

If a guardian ad litem has been appointed to your case, contact a Rolling Meadows, IL family law attorney. Get advice from a legal team with experience and skill in navigating custody battles and knowing what steps to take next. Call Cosley Law Office at 847-253-3100 for a free and confidential consultation today.



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