Additional supports for independent children’s lawyers

Additional supports for independent children’s lawyers

Actions 31 to 35 will improve our independent children's lawyers services through effective funds management and building capacity.

Feedback received about independent children’s lawyers during the Family Law Legal Aid Services Review’s preliminary consultations was generally positive, however a number of suggestions were made about how the role could be more effectively and efficiently administered.

Concerns were expressed by stakeholders about the:

  • lack of an instructing fee to enable instructing in complex matters
  • rigidity of the current guideline requiring independent children’s lawyers to appear as solicitor advocates in final hearings
  • delays sometimes caused when parents struggle to pay for required assessments when there are no disbursements available to cover this cost under the existing guideline.

Victoria Legal Aid proposes to better facilitate cost recovery in relation to the funding of independent children’s lawyers to offset introducing a limited grant for independent children’s lawyers to instruct in proceedings.

We also propose to enhance training for independent children’s lawyers to build their capacity to appear at hearings.

Read the final report

See the Family Law Legal Aid Services Review: final report (docx, 299.61 KB) or more information about these actions.

Or read a summary of other themes: