An Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) is a legal professional appointed by either the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia to represent the paramount interests of a child or children involved in family law proceedings. Serving as a neutral entity, the ICL maintains impartiality and does not align with either parent or any other party engaged in the case.

The primary duty of the ICL is to conduct an objective evaluation of what serves the child’s best interests, providing the court with recommendations concerning the appropriate care arrangements for the child. This entails interactions with the child, the parents, and other pertinent parties, including educators or healthcare professionals, to gather comprehensive information about the child’s needs and circumstances. 

When an Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) conducts an objective evaluation to determine the child’s best interests, several factors are considered. These factors may include:

  1. Safety and Well-Being: The ICL assesses the safety and well-being of the child, considering any potential risks or harm in the existing care arrangements. This may involve evaluating the living conditions, relationships with parents or guardians, and any history of abuse or neglect.
  1. Child’s Wishes and Preferences: The ICL takes into account the child’s preferences, considering their age and maturity level. This involves understanding the child’s own views on living arrangements and relationships with family members.
  1. Parental Capacity: The ICL examines the capacity of each parent or guardian to provide a nurturing and stable environment for the child. This includes assessing their ability to meet the child’s emotional, physical, and developmental needs.
  1. Educational and Healthcare Needs: Interaction with educators and healthcare professionals helps the ICL gather information about the child’s educational and healthcare requirements. This ensures that the child’s overall development and well-being are considered.
  1. Family Dynamics: Understanding the dynamics within the family, including relationships between parents and any potential conflicts, is crucial. The ICL aims to ensure that the child’s living situation is conducive to their well-being.
  1. Any Special Needs or Circumstances: Special needs, whether physical, emotional, or developmental, are taken into account to ensure that appropriate support and accommodations are considered in the care arrangements.

Furthermore, the ICL is empowered to present submissions to the court on behalf of the child, articulating their views and preferences during court proceedings. It is crucial to emphasise that the ICL’s foremost responsibility lies in acting in the child’s best interests rather than merely advocating their preferences. 

The court’s decision to appoint an ICL is discretionary and is typically made when concerns arise about the child’s welfare or when intricate and contentious issues surround the child’s care arrangements.

The involvement of an ICL becomes particularly crucial in cases where the child’s well-being is a primary concern, ensuring that the child’s interests and safety are thoroughly considered in the legal proceedings. However, it is equally important to recognise the intricacies and challenges associated with the role of the ICL, demanding a high level of proficiency and experience in the realm of family law matters.If an ICL has been appointed in your family law matter, and you want to better understand the responsibilities and discretionary powers of an ICL, it is recommended to seek professional legal advice.

About Quill Legal

At Quill Legal we innovate, educate, and plan to evoke excellence and confidence. Our principal solicitor, Shams, and his team are focused on delivering an honest, first-class service. With Quill legal by your side, you have lawyers who will passionately listen, advise and advocate your rights from start to finish.

Read Our Google Reviews
5.0 Star Rating

Would you like to book a
Free Consultation?

Simply fill out this form below and one of our staff members will be in touch within 24 hours

    What our clients
    say about us

    Lovly! YT

    A big thank you to Quill Legal for all their hard work relating to my family matter.

    An absolute awesome team lead by Shams. You weren't just my solicitors, you were also my shoulder I could lean on. You took on my very complex case and got me the outcome I hoped for. A big thank you to Cindy. You, Shams and the team are an absolute gem!!

    Fynn Bricknell

    I would strongly recommend anyone seeking legal advice to contact the team at Quill Legal. Thank you so much!

    I was recommended to speak to Shams from Quill Legal by a friend after he had seen how upset I was about loosing my drivers licence. Shams and the team guided me through the process of appealing my licence suspension in court. He listened to me and answered any questions I had during the case. The process was smooth and the team was professional and very easy to work with.

    I have recommended Quill Legal services to multiple friends and colleagues all of which have had shared the same fantastic experience.

    Daniel Moy

    I was stressed out about a complex traffic infringement. I reached out to Shams at Quill and that stress went away.

    Jennifer was given my case and touched base with me constantly. I was never left wondering what was going on with my case. At court jennifer was professional and got up and did an amazing. The best possible outcome was achieved for me. It was a such a relief to hear the words come out of the judges mouth. I walked out of court a happy man. It was all because of the team at quill. If you haven’t pick up the phone and called Shams, Jennifer and the team at quill to represent you, then you called the wrong law firm.

    Diwa Venkata

    Shams is very professional and empathetic legal practitioner.

    I recently used his services for a family law case. He is thorough and understands the situation and provides apt advice. I was able to resolve my issue within no time and thanks to his meticulous service. Highly recommend Quill legal for anyone looking for family law services.

    Jay Varma

    Highly professional, responsive

    Jennifer and team helped me in one of my hardest times in life related to personal matter in family, the outcome was positive which help me come out mentally, emotionally, professionally strong. Thank you!

    Clayton Bricknell

    Shams and his team were 'the rock' when they handled my Family Law Matter.

    He was always available to discuss options that we formulated or were presented, approachable either in his office or over the phone and very reasonable in terms of the costs that related to my matter. Shams is the right person and Quill as a firm, to consider should you have the need to progress with your own Family Law matter. Thank You Shams!

    Amanda Louise

    Quill Legal helped me gain control of my life again.

    I can't thank Shams and the entire team enough for getting justice for me. They are all so helpful, determined, professional and supportive. I wish I could rate Shams and his team higher than 5 stars for what they have done for my family. Best lawyers in Sydney!

    Mark Moretti

    Professional, friendly, great advice , fully transparent

    We Help Solve Your Legal Issues

    With Quill Legal in your corner, you can be assured of a lawyer who has a passion for getting to know you and your circumstances. This enables our team and our partners to provide the best possible service for you and your family.