Bill Text: IL HB3182 | 2019-2020 | 101st General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Provides that, in a case involving dissolution of marriage, declaration of invalidity of marriage, allocation of parental responsibilities, or domestic violence, the court shall only appoint a guardian ad litem if the guardian ad litem has completed 20 hours of classroom training and 20 hours of training by a domestic abuse advocate to become a guardian ad litem. Provides that a statewide organization advocating for survivors of domestic violence shall offer the training to become a guardian ad litem.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-29 - House Committee Amendment No. 1 Rule 19(c) / Re-referred to Rules Committee [HB3182 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2019-HB3182-Introduced.html


101ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2019 and 2020
HB3182

Introduced , by Rep. Deanne M. Mazzochi

SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
750 ILCS 5/506 from Ch. 40, par. 506

Amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Provides that, in a case involving dissolution of marriage, declaration of invalidity of marriage, allocation of parental responsibilities, or domestic violence, the court shall only appoint a guardian ad litem if the guardian ad litem has completed 20 hours of classroom training and 20 hours of training by a domestic abuse advocate to become a guardian ad litem. Provides that a statewide organization advocating for survivors of domestic violence shall offer the training to become a guardian ad litem.
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A BILL FOR

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1 AN ACT concerning civil law.
2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4 Section 5. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of
5Marriage Act is amended by changing Section 506 as follows:
6 (750 ILCS 5/506) (from Ch. 40, par. 506)
7 Sec. 506. Representation of child.
8 (a) Duties. In any proceedings involving the support,
9custody, visitation, allocation of parental responsibilities,
10education, parentage, property interest, or general welfare of
11a minor or dependent child, the court may, on its own motion or
12that of any party, appoint an attorney to serve in one of the
13following capacities to address the issues the court
14delineates:
15 (1) Attorney. The attorney shall provide independent
16 legal counsel for the child and shall owe the same duties
17 of undivided loyalty, confidentiality, and competent
18 representation as are due an adult client.
19 (2) Guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem shall
20 testify or submit a written report to the court regarding
21 his or her recommendations in accordance with the best
22 interest of the child. The report shall be made available
23 to all parties. The guardian ad litem may be called as a

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1 witness for purposes of cross-examination regarding the
2 guardian ad litem's report or recommendations. The
3 guardian ad litem shall investigate the facts of the case
4 and interview the child and the parties.
5 In a case involving dissolution of marriage,
6 declaration of invalidity of marriage, allocation of
7 parental responsibilities, or domestic violence, the court
8 shall only appoint a guardian ad litem if the guardian ad
9 litem has completed 20 hours of classroom training and 20
10 hours of training by a domestic abuse advocate to become a
11 guardian ad litem. The training to become a guardian ad
12 litem shall be offered by a statewide organization
13 advocating for survivors of domestic violence.
14 (3) Child representative. The child representative
15 shall advocate what the child representative finds to be in
16 the best interests of the child after reviewing the facts
17 and circumstances of the case. The child representative
18 shall meet with the child and the parties, investigate the
19 facts of the case, and encourage settlement and the use of
20 alternative forms of dispute resolution. The child
21 representative shall have the same authority and
22 obligation to participate in the litigation as does an
23 attorney for a party and shall possess all the powers of
24 investigation as does a guardian ad litem. The child
25 representative shall consider, but not be bound by, the
26 expressed wishes of the child. A child representative shall

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1 have received training in child advocacy or shall possess
2 such experience as determined to be equivalent to such
3 training by the chief judge of the circuit where the child
4 representative has been appointed. The child
5 representative shall not disclose confidential
6 communications made by the child, except as required by law
7 or by the Rules of Professional Conduct. The child
8 representative shall not render an opinion,
9 recommendation, or report to the court and shall not be
10 called as a witness, but shall offer evidence-based legal
11 arguments. The child representative shall disclose the
12 position as to what the child representative intends to
13 advocate in a pre-trial memorandum that shall be served
14 upon all counsel of record prior to the trial. The position
15 disclosed in the pre-trial memorandum shall not be
16 considered evidence. The court and the parties may consider
17 the position of the child representative for purposes of a
18 settlement conference.
19 (a-3) Additional appointments. During the proceedings the
20court may appoint an additional attorney to serve in the
21capacity described in subdivision (a)(1) or an additional
22attorney to serve in another of the capacities described in
23subdivision (a)(2) or (a)(3) on the court's own motion or that
24of a party only for good cause shown and when the reasons for
25the additional appointment are set forth in specific findings.
26 (a-5) Appointment considerations. In deciding whether to

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1make an appointment of an attorney for the minor child, a
2guardian ad litem, or a child representative, the court shall
3consider the nature and adequacy of the evidence to be
4presented by the parties and the availability of other methods
5of obtaining information, including social service
6organizations and evaluations by mental health professions, as
7well as resources for payment.
8 In no event is this Section intended to or designed to
9abrogate the decision making power of the trier of fact. Any
10appointment made under this Section is not intended to nor
11should it serve to place any appointed individual in the role
12of a surrogate judge.
13 (b) Fees and costs. The court shall enter an order as
14appropriate for costs, fees, and disbursements, including a
15retainer, when the attorney, guardian ad litem, or child's
16representative is appointed. Any person appointed under this
17Section shall file with the court within 90 days of his or her
18appointment, and every subsequent 90-day period thereafter
19during the course of his or her representation, a detailed
20invoice for services rendered with a copy being sent to each
21party. The court shall review the invoice submitted and approve
22the fees, if they are reasonable and necessary. Any order
23approving the fees shall require payment by either or both
24parents, by any other party or source, or from the marital
25estate or the child's separate estate. The court may not order
26payment by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services in

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1cases in which the Department is providing child support
2enforcement services under Article X of the Illinois Public Aid
3Code. Unless otherwise ordered by the court at the time fees
4and costs are approved, all fees and costs payable to an
5attorney, guardian ad litem, or child representative under this
6Section are by implication deemed to be in the nature of
7support of the child and are within the exceptions to discharge
8in bankruptcy under 11 U.S.C.A. 523. The provisions of Sections
9501 and 508 of this Act shall apply to fees and costs for
10attorneys appointed under this Section.
11(Source: P.A. 99-90, eff. 1-1-16.)
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