What Qualifies a Lawyer to Be a Guardian Ad Litem in Illinois?

Posted on in Child Custody

Wheaton divorce lawyer GALIn a recent blog, we looked at what you should do if a guardian ad litem (GAL) gets assigned to your child custody case. However, you may be wondering what exactly qualifies these lawyers to be advocates for a child’s best interests? While many psychologists, social workers, and other professionals who work with children believe that lawyers are not the person who is most qualified to make a final report and assessment about a child’s best interests, it is worth noting that not just any lawyer can become a guardian ad litem—these attorneys must qualify through a rigorous process of training and vetting.

How a Lawyer Becomes a Guardian Ad Litem in Illinois

In 2006, Article IX of the Supreme Court Rules took effect in Illinois. One of this article’s primary goals was to enable greater focus on the best interests of the child in family law cases, and guidelines for guardians ad litem were subsequently developed. In Illinois, to qualify for a guardian ad litem role, a lawyer must do the following:

Successfully complete court-approved intensive training on family issues:

  • While this training is slightly different depending on the circuit, many require at least 10 hours of CLE (continuing legal education) classes on a variety of topics, including:

    • Child Development

    • Substance Abuse

    • Domestic Abuse

    • Mental Health

    • Ethics

  • These training courses must be completed two years before the final qualification to become a GAL.

  • Completion of the training is not the only requirement. As trends and approaches in family law issues change throughout the years, guardians ad litem must stay updated on the latest topics and be keenly aware of how to handle newer issues as they arise in upcoming cases. Due to this, lawyers can only remain certified as guardians ad litem if they continue attending child-related CLE courses long after their initial qualification.

Contact a Wheaton IL Guardian Ad Litem Attorney

Do you want to have a guardian ad litem assigned to your child but are worried that you might not find a lawyer with the proper qualifications and skills to successfully act under this role? In that case, you should reach out to a DuPage County child custody lawyer with the qualifications, experience, and understanding necessary to work well with your child and help advocate for your family’s best interests. Give Andrew Cores Family Law Group a call at 630-871-1002. Our team of considerate and objective lawyers serve as guardians ad litem all the time. Your initial consultation is free – call today.

Sources:

https://www.isba.org/ibj/2010/11/abcsforgals

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K506

 

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