Independent Children’s Lawyers
We are specialist Family Lawyers.
An ICL is appointed to represent the interests of a child rather than acting on their instructions. All ICLs must have been working in the Family Law jurisdiction and completed national ICL training.
The appointment of an ICL is not automatic and the court will not make the order in all parenting matters. There are case law and guidelines setting out matters where it may be appropriate. To summarise, it may include matters where:
- There are allegations of child abuse
- There is intractable conflict
- There are allegations of alienation
- There are cultural or religious considerations
- There are issues of sexual preference
- There is family violence
- The child is of mature age
- There has been separation of siblings
- Both parties are self-represented
An ICL can help the court to fill the gaps that may be evident when one or both parties are self-represented. ICLs are funded by state Legal Aid offices. Most parties who are employed are required to contribute towards the cost of ICLs; however, those costs are generally nominal in comparison to paying your own lawyer. Applications to waive fees can be made if you are in a position of financial hardship.
If you think an ICL will be beneficial in your parenting matter, then you can request that the court make an order for the appointment of an ICL either in your court documents or verbally. Remember that an ICL must act impartially; they are not appointed to represent you; however, they can be a means to support your position.
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