I believe it takes a village to raise a child. To that end, I have committed my life to pursue the causes of justice, fairness and equity through my education and professional experiences. When I ask a parent to take a risk and try the hard thing, I first ask myself "Would I do this?" If the answer is yes, I coach parties into doing difficult things for the betterment of their children's lives. It is not easy to go through a divorce and divide time with your children, while making yourself feel whole again. I feel for my clients, and try to empathize with their struggles. I have committed my mind, heart and career to ensuring that I will protect children's best interests while upholding the parents' dignity in the process.
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Rachael Moore Perry graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2010. Prior to law school, Rachael obtained an undergraduate degree in Paralegal Studies from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She then worked as a paralegal in the areas of bankruptcy, personal injury, family law and personal injury before deciding to pursue her own law degree. Following law school, she served as a government-appointed official for a municipality in southern Illinois until relocating to McLean in 2013. She then practiced in the area of insurance subrogation in Normal, Illinois, after which she served as a McLean County Assistant State's Attorney, and since 2019 has been in private practice representing clients fervently in the areas of criminal defense and domestic relations law in McLean and the surrounding counties. In 2021 Rachael certified as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) and is excited to focus her practice on representing individuals in the areas of criminal defense (minor and major traffic offenses, misdemeanor and felony charges), assisting clients in navigating the collabortive divorce process, and serving as a GAL.
Rachael's approach to client representation and advocacy is straightforward and compassionate. She not only advocates for clients in court, but does everything she can to help her clients understand the process, answer questions about potential impacts in other areas for a client, and be accessible to answer any questions that may arise.
A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is appointed by the court to give a recommendation on behalf of the child to the court, vocalizing his or her best interest, in light of the desires and wishes of each parent/ guardian/ caregiver, and their ability to co-parent or parallel parent. A GAL may give the court a statement regarding the child's wishes, but the child's wishes are not binding on the recommendation, but merely serve as one element of a comprehensive analysis which takes many factors into consideration.
In a matter involving a disabled adult, the court will appoint an attorney, as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) to serve as “the eyes and ears of the court” and investigate the allegations surrounding the need for a guardianship. The GAL will meet with the ward, interview the potential guardians, review medical reports and make a report to the court to ascertain appropriate remedies.
A Child Representative is appointed by the court on behalf of a minor-child, and serves his or her client similar to an attorney. However, while this professional litigates on behalf of the child in court, he or she is not bound by the child's wishes, but is to determine what is in the child's best interest and advocate accordingly. At times, a Child Representative works alongside a Guardian ad Litem because their roles are different: one litigates, while the other makes recommendations.
A mediator assists parties in achieving conflict resolution outside of the litigation process. If successful, the mediator will forward an agreement to their attorneys to move the divorce forward to formal completion. A mediator may be an attorney, counselor, or have another set of qualifications depending on the nature of conflict and needs of the parties. It is ideal to have a mediator well versed in the law, as well as psychology and finances to give comprehensive counsel if parties wish to entirely mediate their divorce.
A parenting coordinator assists parents in enhancing co-parenting communications to remain functional and harmonious during a child’s life. This service may occur ad-hoc or as an ongoing service, customized to fit the needs of different families. At this time, there are very few qualified providers who offer this role in McLean County, and Guardian Law is committed to recruiting and training more professionals in this field to serve our clients.
A Collaborative Law Specialist assists counsel in facilitating a synergistic approach to divorce. Alternative dispute resolution methodologies are brainstormed and encouraged. Recommendations for experts and special services are tailored for each conflict. Guardian Law keeps and vets a short list of the best experts in each area (advocacy, accounting, mental health, etc.) to make recommendations for consultations on all of our cases. We rely on the finest professionals to give us the fastest results on our cases.
In a collaborative divorce, parties sign a contract with counsel for each side, to share information freely and work with one another for an amicable resolution. This is a voluntary process, and if the parties choose to stop the collaboration, their attorneys will withdraw and the parties may litigate their divorce in a traditional manner. We are working on obtaining certification for collaborative divorce in central Illinois. In a cooperative divorce, parties negotiate all terms in good faith, and do not escalate conflict to litigation. However, they are free to reserve certain matters for a court to decide. The original attorneys may continue to represent parties for the benefit of familiarity and continuity with the case.
Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is a fundamental principle that forms the bedrock of our criminal justice system. Our goal in any criminal matter is to ensure all appropriate steps are followed so our clients know they are fiercely guarded through the protection of their rights when there is any type of of undesirable circumstance they have found themselves in. Our varied experience in criminal prosecution and settlement negotiations make our firm an excellent choice to handle defense matters because we are trained in knowing how the other side thinks and how to best limit negative consequences in any situation.