Ryan Family Law, P.C.
Ryan Family Law, P.C.

Elgin, Illinois

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Our Hours:
Friday 9AM–12PM
Monday 9AM–5PM
Tuesday 9AM–5PM
Wednesday 9AM–5PM
Thursday 9AM–5PM

Who advocates for the child’s best interests during divorce?

Amid the divorce whirlwind, couples may become too caught up in their interests that their child could end up being a secondary concern.

For judges to maintain making well-informed decisions regarding the child, a child representative, a guardian ad litem (GAL) and a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) must all function to uphold the child’s best interests.

Best interest advocacy

Per Illinois law, a GAL and a child representative shall thoroughly investigate unique facts of the case and conduct interviews with the child and other relevant parties. But while a GAL develops a written report containing their recommendations, the most a child representative can do is provide potential legal arguments based on their acquired evidence. Further, a GAL may undergo cross-examination as a witness, while a child representative does not testify in court.

As deemed appropriate, the court may also approve reasonable and necessary invoices of both roles within the allowable 90-day period for submission. The child’s parents shall shoulder these fees.

On the other hand, a CASA is a volunteer, screened and trained per national standards, who particularly works for the interests of abused and neglected children. Like a GAL, they also conduct interviews, submit a report and appear in court as a witness. Unless it is a court order, any information they get hold of must remain confidential.

With the court’s discretion, any action or behavior deviating from your child’s best interests warrants any advocate’s removal.

Advocating for you

When your child’s future is at stake, any help is welcome. As you look out for your child, your legal counsel could advance your rights on custody disputes and other divorce issues.

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