Published on:

Illinois Family Law: New Rules for Custody Cases

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 907 will set forth the minimum standards of practice for attorneys who represent children in contested custody cases. DuPage County and Kane County dissolution of marriage cases will be subject to the new Rule expected to be effective as of the new year 2007. The Rules, I believe, will strengthen and define with greater particularity the role of the GAL/Child’s Rep, and will provide the Court with better trained attorneys, willing to assist the court in resolving difficult contested custody cases.

(a) Every child representative, attorney for a child and guardian ad litem shall adhere to all ethical rules governing attorneys in professional practice, be mindful of any conflicts in the representation of children and take appropriate action to address such conflicts.

(b) Every child representative, attorney for a minor child and guardian ad litem shall have the right to interview his or her client(s) without any limitation or impediment. Upon appointment of a child representative, attorney for the child or guardian ad litem, the trial court shall enter an order to allow access to the child and all relevant documents.

(c) As soon as practicable, the child representative, attorney for the child or guardian ad litem shall interview the child, or if the child is too young to be interviewed, the attorney should, at a minimum, observe the child. The child representative, attorney for the child or guardian ad litem shall also take whatever reasonable steps are necessary to obtain all information pertaining to issues affecting the child, including interviewing family members and others possessing special knowledge of the child’s circumstances.

(d) The child representative, attorney for the child or guardian ad litem shall take whatever reasonable steps are necessary to determine what services the family needs to address the custody dispute, make appropriate recommendations to the parties, and seek appropriate relief in court, if required, in order to serve the best interest of the child.

(e) The child representative, attorney for the child or guardian ad litem shall determine whether a settlement of the custody dispute can be achieved by agreement, and, to the extent feasible, shall attempt to resolve such disputes by an agreement that serves the best interest of the child.

.

Posted in:
Published on:
Updated:

Comments are closed.