An independent children's lawyer functions within the family law jurisdiction as a legal representative for underage individuals. The specialist is an impartial party aimed at identifying the child's ideal interests according to care and protection jurisdictions and family law.
An ICL is appointed by a judge when a case that directly concerns a minor's well being is listed in either the Federal Circuit Court of Australia or more often, the Family Court of Australia. Typically, the lawyer will be appointed in cases where there are parenting uncertainties to be concerned about.
You should understand the significance of the ICL in family law so that you will be prepared for unfavourable legal situations that affect your child.
When to Request for ICL Services
As stated, the court will often appoint an independent children's lawyer in accordance with its own motion depending on the presented circumstances. For instance, the specialist will offer assistance if there are clear allegations presented with regard to the view of a child in a court case and the minor is deemed to be mature enough to present views. However, you can also request for an appointment of the ICL by the court as one of the involved parties.
There are different situations in which the court will typically accept and execute your application. Allegations of violence in the family especially in relation to children's abuse will be taken seriously and an ICL will be needed to provide representation.
An application should be presented in case of extreme conflict or extended disputes between the parents as well as in cases where negligence is a factor. Unstable mental health in parents or children's also warrants the appointment of an ICL to work out their best interests.
The ICL works to obtain information about the child's ideal interests by asking for reports from adults such as teachers and counsellors and obtaining family reports from qualified specialists like social workers.
They will also speak with the child and organise a discussion with you and other involved parties to help in resolving the family law dispute. In such a conference, they will facilitate the child's participation and act as legal middlemen during the negotiations. Moreover, they will represent the child in court after the case if an appeal is made against the decision.
Independent children's lawyers will require payment for their services according to the Legal Aid Scale and the parents must cover the issued costs. However, you can apply for a waiver for the legal fees when in dire financial circumstances. Learn more about your legal options by consulting expert resources like KJB Law.