Tag Archives: Guardian Ad Litem Minor Settlement

Can a Guardian Ad Litem Be Appointed to Facilitate a Minor’s Settlement?

By Michelle M Paveza on May 22, 2014 | Posted in Blog

13808443545_80d8a868b2_zYour client has just made a final offer of settlement in a case involving a disabled child, but the minor’s legal representative remains recalcitrant towards the final settlement offer.  You think that the offer is fair and reasonable given the uncertainties of the case.  What can you do to overcome this obstacle if settlement is your goal?

One possible option is to request that a guardian ad litem (GAL) be appointed to review the settlement offer and make a recommendation on settlement to the court.

Pursuant to the Illinois Probate Act, every minor is considered a ward of the court when litigation is involved.  As a result, all proposed settlements involving minors must be approved by the court, as only the court overseeing the child’s case has the authority to approve or reject a proposed settlement agreement.

Though in usual practice, a plaintiff will make up his own mind whether to accept an offer of settlement or face the risks of a trial, when a minor’s estate is involved, a parent, legal representative or guardian may only present a proposal of settlement to the court.  It is actually up to the court to accept or reject the settlement offer based on the best interests of the child.  The goal of vesting this settlement authority in the court is to see that the rights of the child are protected.

Therefore, if you feel that your final settlement offer is fair and reasonable based on the risks of the case, and the minor’s representative is reluctant to settle, then the case may call for the appointment of a GAL.

Does the judge have the authority to appoint a GAL under these circumstances? Read More…

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