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child representative for the minor in custody matters.227 The child representative role in custody
matters was created in 2000, seeking to create a hybrid of the GAL and attorney roles.228 The
child representative was to have “the same power and authority to take part in the conduct of the
litigation as does any party,” while having the investigation authority of a guardian ad litem, and
the ability to act against client directive and wishes when the child representative determined it
was in the child’s best interests.229
In 2004, the Illinois Supreme Court looked at the hybrid child representative role and found it
unconstitutional as applied in In re Marriage of Bates.230 In the Bates trial court, the mother
asked that the child representative be required to testify or, in the alternative, that his report be
stricken.231 Her motion also asked that the child representative statute be declared
unconstitutional because it allowed the child representative to make recommendations without
allowing the parties to cross examine.232 The trial court denied the motion, admitted the report as
evidence, and relied on the child representative’s report in making custody, parenting time and
support determinations ( although it was consistent with the trial testimony as well.)233 The court
of appeals held that the child representative could make recommendations based on personal
observations and could be questioned about those observations as a witness; thus, the opportunity
evaluation of the best interests of the child); 750 ILL. COMP. STAT. 5/604.10(d)(West 2017) (the court may order an
investigation and report to assist in allocating parental responsibilities.) Illinois Supreme Court Rule 215 also allows
for mental and physical examination of the parties and others persons in the event that their mental health is at issue
in the litigation.
227 750 ILL. COMP. STAT. 5/506.
228 See Rebecca J. Whitcombe, The Child’s Representative Law After In Re Marriage of Bates, 93 ILL. B. J. 26
(2005) (“For years, only two types of representatives were available - the guardian ad litem (GAL) and the attorney
for the child. . . . That changed effective 2000 with the enactment of an amendment to section 506 creating the
child's representative, an attorney-for-the-child/GAL hybrid designed to combine the best features of both.”(internal
229 See Carl W. Gilmore, Understanding the Illinois Child’s Representative Statute, 89 ILL. B. J. 458 (2001).
230In re Marriage of Bates, 819 N.E.2d 714, 728 (Ill. App. Ct. 2004).
233 In re Marriage of Bates, 819 N.E.2d at 729.