Children are a particularly vulnerable segment of society which makes their protection all the more important, especially when it comes to something as potentially intimidating as the legal system. Having served as a Domestic Relations judge, Michael Ian Bender understands how critical it is to keep children’s well-being at the forefront of any litigation. Bender embraces his belief that “that there is no excuse for child abuse,” which has driven him to be a tireless advocate on behalf of children’s rights and their well-being.

In the Cook County legal system, Bender serves a number of roles including acting as a Child Representative, Attorney for the Child, or as Guardian ad litem (GAL). A GAL is the attorney who serves as a witness that investigate the facts of the case, interviews the child and the parties, and testifies or submits a written report detailing his or her observations. All of these roles are essential to assuring that a child is adequately protected during divorce or paternity hearings.

Bender’s extensive legal background leads him to keenly understand the resources that are at a family’s disposal during the difficult times that can accompany legal proceedings when children are involved. His knowledge in this area has helped minimize any possible negative impact on children who are exposed to a family crisis.