In a family law case, clients can deal with a wide variety of different people and experts, including independent professionals. An independent children’s lawyer, or ICL is an unbiased legal representative of the children in a divorce case. It is the responsibility of this person to act on the behalf of the children and according to their best interests.
The ICL is often appointed to cases where there may be issues of mental health, violence, high conflict, violence, or other problems to deal with. You may be more likely to be appointed an ICL if the situation is complicated or if both you and your partner have no legal representation.View Pricing
What Does an ICL Do?
The ICL will try to arrange mediation sessions where they can offer advice and guidance to both you and your partner, as well as outlining the state of the case. An independent children’s lawyer will attempt to keep the proceedings in your case heavily focused on child-focused issues and parenting arrangements. Roles of an ICL include:
- Keeping the court process concentrated on parenting orders and best interests for children
- Meeting with children (unless they’re too young to give sound answers to questions)
- Liaising with, contacting, and subpoenaing reports from schools, counsellors, medical professionals, witnesses, counsellors and other individuals.
- Arranging family mediation sessions
- Being present at court hearings and mentions.
- Interviewing parents and other individuals at the final court hearing
- Making and delivering appropriate orders for children in a family case, and appealing against inappropriate orders suggested by the parents
An ICL is provided within a child custody case by the legal aid of the governing states. The family cannot choose who the children will be appointed to receive as their lawyer. If the ICL isn’t appropriate for your family, then your lawyer will need to act on your behalf to address the issue.View Pricing
What Happens if You Work with an ICL?
If you are required to work with an independent children’s lawyer in your case, then the costs of that professional’s time will need to be managed by the parents of the children. When an ICL is appointed, a fee schedule will be sent to the parents, and payments will be expected promptly. Though it is possible for parents to apply for fee exemptions, requests need to be submitted to the court in writing and accompanied by the proper documentation.
Parents will not be able to successfully contact the ICL directly if they have any questions or concerned. It’s always a better idea to put your questions through your lawyer, unless you are representing yourself. However, the fact that an ICL has been appointed to your case could mean that it’s very complex, which indicates that self-representation might not be the right strategy.View Pricing