What is an Independent Children’s Lawyer?

child care arrangement lawyer

Are you involved in a family law case and not sure what to expect?

There are many different family law cases where a child care arrangement lawyer might be needed. Here is what you should know:

What is an Independent Children’s Lawyer and why has one been appointed?

An Independent Children’s Lawyer, also known as an ICL, is a specially trained solicitor that is appointed for the primary and sole purpose of representing the child or children’s best interests in the family law proceedings. The Independent Children’s Lawyer or ICl is usually appointed by the court upon an application by one of the legal parties in situations where at least one of the following conditions exist:

  • There are family violence allegations
  • There is a huge amount of conflict between the two parents
  • Allegations of neglect or abuse of the child or children have been made
  • There are some complicated issues involved in the legal matter
  • One or both of the parents or children involved in the situation suffer from severe mental health issues
  • The children are old enough to express their views

ALso, Read: Advantages of Hiring a Reliable Family Lawyer

What is the role of the Independent Children’s Lawyer?

The role of the Independent Children’s Lawyer or ICL is written in section 68L of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). The role is to represent and promote the best interests of the child or children and make sure that they are the primary focus of any decisions made about parenting arrangements.

Do I have to pay the Independent Children’s Lawyers fees?

The Independent Children’s Lawyer’s fees are covered by the Legal Services Commission, but the Independent Children’s Lawyer is required to seek a contribution towards their legal costs from each of the parties under the current Common Family Law Funding Guidelines. If one of the parties is the recipient of a grant of legal aid funding, then this requirement can be varied or waived by the Legal Services Commission.

Is the Independent Children’s Lawyer going to take sides?

The Independent Children’s Lawyer will not necessarily take sides, but they might support the application of one of the parties over the other if they think that it is in the best interests of the child or children. The Independent Children’s Lawyer will usually communicate with each of the parties through their lawyers or solicitors unless the party is self-represented. In the case of self-representation, they will communicate with the party in writing.

Also, Read: How To Apply For Divorce In Australia If It’s Not Mutual?

When an Independent Children’s Lawyer is appointed, do they get the final say?

The Independent Children’s Lawyer has no more power or final say over the legal matter than the solicitors for the parties. They don’t have any power to determine where the children will live or who they will spend their time with. The only person with the authority or final say to make these decisions is the Judge, unless the parties can come to an agreement about the care arrangements.

The Independent Children’s Lawyer can make recommendations about who they believe the children should live with and how much time they should spend with each of the parents. However, these are recommendations only, and the Judge is not required to take these recommendations into consideration.