Information for Attorneys in Domestic Relations Cases

The information below is provided for individuals seeking to become court-appointed guardians ad litem/child representatives or court-certified mediators. 

Guardian ad Litem/Child Representative

    How to Become a Guardian ad Litem (GAL)/Child Representative

    The Office of the Presiding Judge has prescribed a number of requirements for attorneys seeking admittance on the GAL/child representative active roster in accordance with Local Court Rule 13.9

    First, licensed attorneys who have concentrated a majority of their practice in family law, child welfare, or child advocacy for a minimum of five (5) years out of the previous eight (8) years shall submit an application for consideration. All requirements listed on the first page of the application must be met. Alternatively, pursuant to DR General Administrative Orders 2013 D3 and 2015 D6, attorneys may submit an application to become a court-appointed GAL/child representative after completing the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (“CVLS”) Pro Bono Child Representative Program.

    After submitting the application, attorneys will be interviewed by members of the Child Representative Screening Committee. After acceptance by the Presiding Judge and the Screening Committee, the attorney shall attend a training session hosted by current GAL/child representatives. The training sessions are held twice per year.

    Once all training is complete, the attorney shall be placed on the active roster, which is distributed to all Domestic Relations Division judges.

    For more information, please contact the Presiding Judge’s Office at (312) 603-3025.

    Remaining on the Guardian ad Litem/Child Representative Roster

    Every GAL/child representative must complete a minimum of three (3) seminar credit hours. Every GAL/child representative shall also accept at least one (1) pro bono case per year to remain on the active roster.

    Pro bono appointments must come through the Office of the Presiding Judge to count towards the GAL/child representative’s pro bono case for the year.

    The active roster list can be found here

    2024 Seminar Schedule

    GAL/child representatives can acquire seminar credit hours by either attending CLE-approved seminars, which are hosted by the Domestic Relations Division. Attending or participating in seminars outside of the Domestic Relations Division may count towards required credit hours, but are subject to the approval of the Presiding Judge.

    The current seminar list may be found here.

    Court-Certified Mediators

      How to Become a Court-Certified Mediator

      Requirements for court-certified mediators are outlined in Local Court Rule 13.4 . Attorneys and mental health professionals shall complete an application, which shall include a supporting affidavit and all necessary supporting documentation. All of the requirements listed on the first page of the application shall be met.

      Applicants shall complete an approved 40-hour mediation training program prior to applying. A list of approved 40-hour mediation courses is available online.

      All court-certified mediators shall also complete a Domestic Violence Continuing Education training within six (6) months of approval or when the program is next offered, whichever date is sooner. The court-approved Domestic Violence training program, “Screening for Domestic Violence in Mediation,” is hosted by Family Court Services. For more information about the training schedule, please contact FCS at (312) 603-1540.

      Completed applications shall be submitted to the Presiding Judge’s Office using one of the below methods: 

         Office of the Presiding Judge
         Domestic Relations Division
         50 W. Washington, Suite 1901A
         Chicago, Illinois 60602

      Court-certified mediators may be placed on the list for no more than five (5) years before needing to reapply. For a list of court-certified mediators, see here.