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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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 coach or 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.