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Chicago Connection   |  Guardian Ad Litem/Parenting Time Coordinator

Guardian Ad Litem/Parenting Time Coordinator

Children's issues are the over-riding concern in child custody and parenting time decisions. When courts feel that the best interests of the children are not being considered, a court will often appoint a guardian ad litem to look out for the interests of the children or a parenting time coordinator to guide parents to avoid parenting disputes. Scott Yahne has appointed as a guardian ad litem for children or as a parenting time coordinator by judges in more than 100 cases. A guardian ad litem represents the interests of the children, assesses what custody or parenting time arrangement is in their best interest, and reports to the Judge or Magistrate. In some cases, the guardian ad litem makes an independent assessment of the situation if the parties are highly polarized and hold widely divergent views on custody questions. Although many people think of a guardian ad litem as the "children's attorney," this is not exactly the case. In particular, while an attorney must generally follow his client's wishes, the guardian ad litem is not at all obligated to do what the children want. Rather, the guardian ad litem serves as the eyes and ears of the judge with regard to custody and parenting time matters. A guardian ad litem has the power to be present and ask questions at depositions, interview witnesses, draw conclusions, and submit those conclusions to the Judge.