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Cook County Child Representative and Parenting Coordinator Attorney

Illinois child parenting coordinator and child representative lawyer

Lawyers Representing Children and Assisting With Child Custody in Arlington Heights and Schaumburg Divorce Cases

Married parents who choose to get a divorce or unmarried parents who are no longer in a romantic relationship may disagree about child custody matters. Disputes over the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time can become very contentious, and if parents are unable to reach an agreement in these areas, they may need the court to step in and make decisions. If a judge feels that he or she does not have enough information to determine what is in the children's best interests, outside experts may be appointed to advocate on behalf of the children, help parents reach agreements, or provide recommendations on how child custody matters should be handled.

The attorneys of A. Traub & Associates are highly experienced in family law cases involving contentious disputes over child-related issues. In addition to representing parents, we regularly serve as Child Representatives and Guardians ad Litem after being appointed by family court judges. Additionally, Attorney Angel Traub is certified as a Parenting Coordinator. We have the training and experience to help address child issues, resolve disputes between parents, and advocate for the best interests of children.

Child Representatives and Guardians ad Litem

A couple's divorce decree will include a parenting plan, which will specify how decision-making responsibilities will be allocated between parents, create schedules for parenting time, and include other rules that will be followed by parents going forward. Child custody cases for unmarried parents will also require the creation of a parenting plan or parenting agreement. If parents are unable to agree on some or all of the terms of a parenting plan, the judge in their case may appoint a person to investigate the case and advocate for the children's best interests.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, either a Child Representative or a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) may be appointed. This person will be an attorney who will represent the children rather than either parent. They will gather relevant facts about the case by conducting interviews with the parents and the children, visiting the parents' homes, reviewing relevant records, and contacting others who may have insight into the situation, such as extended family members, children's doctors, family therapists, teachers, or childcare providers.

Based on their investigation and their opinions about how matters should be resolved, the appointed person will provide information meant to help the judge make a decision that will protect the best interests of the children. If a GAL is appointed, they will submit a written report that includes recommendations about child-related issues. During a trial, the GAL may be called to provide witness testimony, and each parent's attorney will be able to cross-examine them. If a Child Representative is appointed, they typically do not provide a report or recommendations, but they can submit a pre-trial memorandum that includes arguments for how child-related issues should be resolved based on the results of their investigation. A Child Representative is not a witness at trial.

Parenting Coordinators

Parents are encouraged to work together to create a parenting plan they can both agree on, and in many cases, a judge will order parents to use mediation to do so. If mediation is unsuccessful, or if a judge determines that mediation would not be appropriate, the judge may appoint a Parenting Coordinator to help parents resolve their disputes and reach an agreement on child-related issues.

A Parenting Coordinator may meet with parents and children and act as a mediator to resolve disputes while also educating parents on methods they can use to reduce conflict and provide for their children's best interests. The Parenting Coordinator may monitor parents' compliance with temporary court orders and report concerns to the court, or they may recommend resources that could benefit parents and children, such as drug screening, family therapy, professionals such as therapists, or parenting classes. They may also help create rules or guidelines for communication between parents, or they may serve as a go-between to help parents communicate with one another during their case. While the Parenting Coordinator cannot make any decisions for the parents about child custody or other related issues, they will offer recommendations to the parents on how they can resolve their legal disputes and work with them to create a parenting plan that they can both be satisfied with.

Contact Our Rolling Meadows Family Law Attorneys

With our experience assisting families with legal disputes, A. Traub & Associates can provide the legal help you need when addressing matters related to parental responsibility and parenting time. Whether we are providing representation to parents or children, we will work to make sure the best interests of your children are protected at all times. To learn more about the family law services we provide, contact our office today at 847-749-4182.

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