If you apply for child custody, then you need to appoint an independent children’s lawyer. The court can appoint an ICL or independent children’s lawyer under the section of 68L of the Family Law Act 1975. It is applicable in Australia that can protect the interests of your child.
You cannot appoint a children’s lawyer for getting child custody, you can apply to the court to appoint an independent children’s lawyer. The court will evaluate your application and appoint an ICL after considering the following factors:
- The court can appoint an ICL in case of any allegation of child abuse. Apart from that, court can appoint an ICL to resolve a high-level dispute between the parents.
- An ICL will present a case from the views of the children and court can decide to give time to a child to get the child mature enough to express his/her views.
- If there is any family violence reported in the court or serious metal or health issues presented in the court, then an ICL will be appointed to protect the child’s interests.
Roles and responsibilities of an independent children’s lawyer:
An independent children’s lawyer always tries to protect the child and look after the arrangements which are in the favour of the children. Children’s lawyers can arrange required evidences to protect the interests of a child and he or she can bring your children in the court proceedings according to the child safety law. They work as an honest mediator between the children and their parents and lawyers can negotiate the case out of the court to protect the interests of a child.
- An independent children’s lawyer can meet the children in case of any exceptional circumstances. He or she can meet the counsellors, teachers, and principals of your children, and collect the required documents from their school.
- Apart from that, a lawyer can also talk to the Department of Family and Community Services to protect the interests of a child. He or she can meet the police officers who are associated with the respective case, and the lawyer can collect the psychological records of the children from their parents and doctors. They can also collect the psychological and medical records of the parents to prove any disability in the court.
- Independent children’s lawyers can participate in the final hearing of the case and he or she can ask the question to the witnesses and parents. Apart from that, the lawyers can also arrange a family report to protect the interests of a child.
What is a family report?
Independent family lawyers can collect the family reports from different professionals. These reports are prepared by a family consultant and a lawyer can lodge a petition in the court to appoint a family consultant for his/her case. Family consultants can prepare such reports on an independent assessment and it will help the judge to make the right decision.
Why would you need an independent children’s lawyer?
Your child cannot attend the court and you need a representative who can tell your child’s views in the court. In this case, you can appeal to appoint an independent children’s lawyer. In most of the cases, independent children’s lawyers seek the orders from the court for your child’s interests. If they do not know this process, then they will discuss the same with the parent’s lawyer to represent the case in the court.
Recommendations submitted by an ICL are purely based on his/her evidences, and the lawyer can change his/her recommendations at any stage during the hearing with the reference of new evidences