Question from Deb, What is the Maximum a Guardian ad Litem Can Charge in Chicago, IL and How is it Supervised?
Answer from AI:
A Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is a court-appointed representative who investigates what solutions would be in the best interests of a child in cases of divorce or custody disputes. The fees charged by a GAL can vary widely, and there is no set maximum rate in Chicago, Illinois.
How Much Can a GAL Charge?
The fees charged by a GAL are typically based on their hourly rate, which can range from $100 to $400 per hour or more, depending on their experience and the complexity of the case. The total cost can also depend on the amount of time the GAL needs to spend on the case.
Does a Judge Supervise or Need to Approve GAL Billing?
Yes, a judge typically has the authority to review and approve the fees charged by a GAL. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the court will enter an order for costs and fees in favor of the GAL. The court can also order either or both parties to pay the GAL’s fees.
What if I Cannot Afford a GAL?
If you cannot afford a GAL, you may be able to request that the court waive or reduce the fees. This typically requires showing that you have a low income and cannot afford to pay. However, the decision is ultimately up to the judge.
It’s important to note that the information provided here is general in nature and may not apply to your specific situation. Laws can vary by jurisdiction and individual circumstances can greatly affect how those laws are applied. Therefore, it’s recommended that you consult with a legal professional for personalized advice.
Resources for Legal Assistance
If you need legal assistance, there are resources available that may be able to help:
- Illinois Legal Aid offers free legal information and referrals to low-income residents.
- The Chicago Bar Association provides free legal advice through its Call-A-Lawyer program.
- The Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University offers legal services to low-income residents in the Chicago area.