A child representative is an attorney for the parties’ child(ren). The child representative advocates for what he or she determines to be in the best interests of the child(ren) after investigating and reviewing the facts and circumstances of the case. The child representative is required to meet with the child(ren) and the parties, investigate the facts of the case and encourage settlement and the use of alternative forms of dispute resolution. Unlike a guardian ad litem, the child representative cannot be called as a witness to testify.
A guardian ad litem (also known as a “GAL”) is an attorney for the parties’ child(ren). The guardian ad litem is required to investigate the facts of the case, interview the child(ren) and the parties, and testify or submit a written report to the court regarding his or her recommendations in accordance with the best interest of the child. Unlike a child representative, the guardian ad litem may be called as a witness for purposes of cross-examination regarding the guardian ad litem’s report or recommendations.
An attorney for the child is an attorney who represents the parties’ child(ren). The attorney for the child provides independent legal counsel for the child(ren) and owes the same duties of undivided loyalty, confidentiality, and competent representation as are due to an adult client. In any proceeding involving the allocation of parental responsibilities, parentage, support, relocation, property interest, abuse, or general welfare of a minor or dependent child, the court may appoint an attorney to represent the parties’ child(ren). The court may do so on its own motion or by a motion of a party.
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My kid was graduating high school and I needed to end my child support obligation and also needed to get money for college costs and expenses. While these are two different things, the attorneys at Ward Family Law handled the court filings and had the right order entered by the Judge terminating my child support obligation and then also got a contribution order entered for college costs and expenses. What a relief and I cannot say enough good things about the family law team.
I wanted a legal team that could do it all since I didn't know which way it would go. I was unsure about mediation, settlement, or litigation and my research showed that they could do it all. They did. Mediation was guided by my attorney, Jennifer, at Ward Family Law and although it was not a great outcome it was because the other side would not compromise. No problem. Jennifer transitioned the case to litigation to push for what I knew was right and what I knew I needed to fight for. We fought the good fight for my kids…
I am already a very anxious person. Ward Family Law walked me through the process and was with me every step of the way. Emily is patient and communicative. She would call or email me back the same day and made sure I was comfortable. The divorce was a difficult time but she made it so much better and I couldn't be happier about the outcome.
We were getting married in a month and needed to get our premarital agreement done quickly but also done right. Ward Family Law got us a list of talking points for me and my fiance to figure out what we wanted included and they walked me through the financial disclosures and other things that have to get done to make sure the premarital agreement is valid. Otherwise, what is the point, right? They did the draft of the premarital agreement and since we had talked through it with their guidance prior it made the entire process so easy. Highly recommend!!
Divorce is no joke and the fighting had gotten so bad that I needed a lawyer to communicate on my behalf. Jennifer at Ward Family Law stepped in and calmed the case down which opened the door for her to communicate with my spouse, who was representing themselves pro se, and get the case resolved. I just wish I had used her from the start.
We kept everything we had on our own so we thought the divorce would be easy. There was a lot of paperwork and filing online. We found Ward Family Law online and wanted the friendly, easy divorce that they could provide. They handled all the paperwork and made the process really easy.
I knew we were going to have a custody battle from day one. It was going to be mean and messy and expensive and long. I did not know if I could handle it but I had to do it for my kids. Jennifer litigated my case to the end - we had an attorney for the kids, we had psych evaluations, we had reports for the Judge, we had court date after court date. She was strategic, smart, planned well ahead, and kept on top of everything. Thanks to her and her legal eagles my kids are in a…
We were not married but had two kids and we were both listed as the parents on the birth certificates. What I did not know at the time was that the birth certificate (for parents who are not married) does not count in Chicago! You have to have a paternity test or have signed some special paperwork at the hospital that we did not know about at the time. Ward Family Law prepared the court filings so that we could establish our parental rights. Thank you!
At the end of my divorce case I realized that the paperwork required us to provide the court with a Qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) in order for our retirement and investment accounts to be divided as we had agreed. The problem was that we did not have them done in time. Jennifer and her team stepped in and handled contacting the plan administrators, completing the draft QDROs, submitting them for pre-approval of everyone and then presenting them to the court. While we had hoped this was super easy there were a lot of steps and a lot of things…
From the very start I was nervous and scared about the entire divorce process and ending up with nothing. Jennifer and Emily guided me step-by-step through the process with patience. I realized that the more that I knew about my own finances and the finances of my marriage the more I would be comfortable going forward with the divorce. With their expertise I was able to move forward and finish my case with a settlement that was fair and allows me to feel safe going forward on my own.
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