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guardian ad litem, child issues, St. Charles Family LawyersChild-related legal matters of any type can be extremely challenging, especially those that must be addressed in divorce. The distrust and acrimony between the parents can easily spill over into child custody and support proceedings, often creating a great deal of difficulty for the judge responsible for the case. The court, however, has been granted the authority to appoint an attorney to assist in any child-related cases, whose primary role is to objectively determine that which is in the child’s best interest. An appointed attorney may serve in one of several statutorily defined roles, including that of guardian ad litem.

When Is a Guardian ad Litem Used?

A guardian ad litem may be appointed by the court in many situations, but is frequently utilized when parents involved in a child-related matter have difficulty identifying their child’s true best interests. The court may recognize such a need based on allegations of questionable judgment by either parent, suspected abuse, or other concerns. In addition, either party may request that a guardian ad litem be appointed so that a more neutral observer can help consider the child’s well-being throughout the process and into the future.


custody order, divorce, Kane County Family Law AttorneyOne of the most difficult things divorcing couples who are in the midst of a child custody battle may face is to keep all communications with each other civil. Emotions are high, anger is heated, and it can be almost impossible keep those feelings contained. However, it is important to know that any negative communications you have with your soon-to-be-ex spouse can be held against you when it comes to deciding who should get custody of the children.

In Illinois, there are several criteria that the court will consider when making the determination of child custody. These factors include:

  • The wishes of the parents;
  • Depending on a child’s age, the court will consider the wishes of the child;
  • The interaction between the child and each parent and any other caregivers;
  • The physical and emotional health of both parents and child;
  • How well the child has adjusted to his or her home, community, and school;
  • Whether there is any record of abuse, domestic or otherwise; and
  • How willing each parent is to foster an ongoing relationship between the child and the other parent.

The ability for a parent to put aside the anger and contention that often comes from a marriage breakup, and instead focus on the emotional health and well-being of the child is also something that judges watch for in custody cases.  If a parent uses threats and intimidation over child custody in order to bully the other parent into meeting their demands in other areas of divorce negotiations – such as property division or spousal support – the court may consider that a threat to the child’s emotional health and award sole custody to the other parent.


Posted on in Family Law

second marriage stats, Illinois family law attorneyStatistics reveal that the national rate of marriage is down. Approximately one in every five adults who are 25 years or older is unmarried. In 1960, that figure was one in 10. However, for those that do decide to take the plunge, new research shows that almost half of them are getting remarried. Many of those couples have children from prior relationships, assets, property, which now may lead them to consider getting a prenuptial agreement before they marry.

The new data was gathered by the Pew Research Center from information collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. According to that data, in 2013, 40 percent of marriages that took place in the U.S. had at least one spouse who was getting remarried. Of that 40 percent, half had only one spouse who had been married previously and in the other half, both spouses has prior marriages.

The U.S. Census Data shows that 42 million people in this country have been married more than once, compared to only 22 million in 1980.


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