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An Independent Children’s lawyer is a lawyer who will represent your child’s best interests in the current family law court case.
Because your child won’t attend court, an Independent Children’s Lawyer will tell the court about your child’s welfare and views during the case.
The Independent Children’s Lawyer will present information to the court about your child’s welfare and views.
Each child’s case is different but generally before making a submission to the court, the Independent Children’s Lawyer will:
1 Affidavit—a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court.
2 Subpoena—a document that compels a person to give evidence and or to produce documents in their possession to the court.
3 Evidence—information in some form that proves or disproves an allegation.
The Independent Children’s Lawyer then applies family law cases and law to all this information. While each case is different, the lawyer may look at past similar cases to decide what submission to make to the court. It is important to remember that the Independent Children’s Lawyer will follow the law.
With the evidence and this information, the Independent Children’s Lawyer will form an independent view of what is in the best interests of the child to present to the court. The court will also be made aware of any views expressed by your child.
At the court hearing, the Independent Children’s Lawyer conducts the case for the child in the usual way, including:
In some cases an Independent Children’s Lawyer will know early in a matter what orders they seek on behalf of the child. If the Independent Children’s Lawyer does know, then they will tell the parents’ lawyers or you if you are not represented by a lawyer. This can help negotiations. In other cases, the child’s best interests may be unclear and the Independent Children’s Lawyer may be unable to make a recommendation until much later or sometimes not at all.
Yes. An Independent Children’s Lawyer’s recommendation will be based on the evidence available at the time. If new evidence becomes available before the court has made final orders, the Independent Children’s Lawyer will need to consider the impact of this on any recommendations.
The judge listens carefully to what everybody in the case says and makes his or her decision based on all evidence provided.
In difficult cases the court will order a written report about a child, the parents and anybody else involved in the matter. An application for this order will often be made by the Independent Children’s Lawyer. This report is prepared by a family consultant, social worker, child and family psychologist or psychiatrist, depending on the case. The information is obtained by interviewing the people concerned in the matter. The report will be released by the court and given to your lawyer (or you if you are representing yourself) and the Independent Children’s Lawyer. It may assist in discussions leading to an agreement to settle the case. If the case is not settled, the report will form part of evidence considered by the judge.
If you have a problem, it is always best to talk about it with that person. But if you need more help, please contact the complaints officer directly on 07 3917 0132 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find more information and videos about the Independent Children’s Lawyers at www.bestforkids.org.au