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Illinois Custody and the Court’s Discretion re: GAL

When should a GAL or Child’s Rep be appointed? In all cases?

When it is clear that the parents are looking after only their own interests and the interests of the child may be seriously neglected, it is recommended to the trial court that an attorney for the child or a GAL be appointed. Hartman v. Hartman, 89 Ill.App.3d 969, 412 N.E.2d 711, 45 Ill. Dec. 360 (4th Dist. 1980).

The appointment of an attorney to represent a child is a matter left to the sound discretion of the trial court. The failure of the trial court to appoint a GAL was not an abuse of discretion, where there was ample evidence before the court through other witnesses, including evidence as to the child’s best interest through the testimony of psychologists, therapists, neighbors and othjer competent witnesses. In re Marriage of Ricketts, 329 Ill. App.3d 173, 768 N.E.2d 834, 263 Ill. Dec. 753 (5th Dist. 2002).

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