What is an Independent Children's Lawyer?
If your family law matter regarding parenting issues proceeds to court, there maybe an Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) ordered by the Court.
An ICL is a lawyer who represents the child or children’s best interests. The Court can appoint an ICL pursuant to Section 68L of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).The Court can also appoint an ICL if the child, an organisation concerned with the welfare of the child, or any other person applies for one to be appointed.
When will an Independent Children's Lawyer be appointed?
The Court may appoint an ICL if one or more of the following circumstances is relevant:
- there are allegations of abuse or neglect in relation to a child, or there are allegations of family violence;
- there is a high level of conflict and dispute between the parents, or there are difficult and complex issues to be resolved;
- there are allegations or assertions made as to the views of a child, and the child is of a mature age to express their views; and / or
- one or both of the parents, or the child, suffers from serious mental health issues.
The Court will consider each case on an individual basis prior to appointing an ICL.
What will an Independent Children's Lawyer do?
The ICL’s role is to represent and promote the best interests of the child in the family law proceedings. To do this, the ICL may allow the child or children to be involved in the decision-making process to the appropriate extent considering their age, developmental level, cognitive ability, and emotional state. The ICL will consult with and / or receive information from other professionals in an impartial manner to assist the parties in reaching a resolution, that is in the best interests of the child or children.
If you require representation regarding your parenting dispute, please reach out to speak with one of our Accredited Specialist Family Lawyers today.