Parenting Matters and Intervening Parties

A mother bird protecting her chicks in a nest

Parenting Matters and Intervening Parties

The intervention of an Independent Children’s Lawyer (ICL) is not an uncommon scenario in many Family Courts in Australia. During the course of a parenting matter, the safety and welfare of a child or children may highlight the need for investigation into particular allegations and therefore a ICL will be appointed.

The Courts can encourage FaCS[1] to investigate alleged risk or abuse of a child. If it is determined that there is a need to intervene, the court may order FaCS to be joined in proceedings.

The intervention of an ICL or FaCS does change the nature of proceedings in the Family Courts and will widen the scope for further evidence to be introduced.

FaCS may assist the Court in deciding the ‘best interests’ outcome for the child or children by utilising its investigative powers to bring to light any risk that the child may be exposed to. Similarly, the ICL will advocate to the Court the need to protect the Child and suggest possible solutions aimed at providing the child a safer home environment.

Whilst the intervention of FaCS and ICLs may be daunting and bring to light issues not previously known, their involvement will often provide a voice where one may have not otherwise been heard.

Of course all families are unique and if you have any concerns regarding your Parenting Matters you should seek independent legal advice regarding the facts that are relevant to your matter.

[1] Family & Community Services