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NSW Family Court - How to Dismiss or Replace ICL?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Karsidi, 4 January 2016.

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  1. Karsidi

    Karsidi Active Member

    20 June 2015
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    I was an SRL, recently applied and granted by the Family Court for an Independent Children Lawyer ( ICL) to represent my child because she is being coached by the other parent. However I discerned that in the final trial the ICL was not fair-minded, had an obvious bias in favour of the other parent.

    After the trial, the other parent applied for an Appeal. Will the ICL automatically assume the role once again or does the ICL's involvement end after the final trial relating to the initiating application? I do not want this ICL to represent my child again, not in the Appeal. How to stop that is really what I am seeking help for?

    In hindsight, is it possible to remove and replace the ICL before the trial if one of the parents wishes to do so?
  2. ourlawisnotfair

    ourlawisnotfair Well-Known Member

    13 February 2015
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    I would be very interested to know the answer to this question also.

    In addition I will say; my experience leads me to believe many ICL's forms their view as to best interests of children in a biased manner.
    After all, it is human nature to "pick a side" and these are poorly educated in the field of child development, child needs, and child psychology lawyers, AKA: the independent children's lawyer. In fact, there are no further educational requirements to become an ICL from any old solicitor.

    The whole system needs urgent help, clearly the politicians, (most of whom were lawyers prior to their governing positions), can see the chaos and crime in Australia. Yet they continue to allow their wheel of injustice to keep making them money.

    To make money off of a family's emotional tragedy is when you know the world needs a major shift more than ever.

    So, to anybody that knows, can we change the ICL? Can we speak up in the courtroom against their uneducated view of our children's best interests? Possibly without upsetting the marble-walled toilet they sit on?
  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

    27 September 2015
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    Not unless you can demonstrate incompetence or corruption.

    Now hold on 'cause you're not gonna like the next bit. If they have shown 'bias', is it possible their bias is similar to the family report writer? What I'm getting at is could the ICL be presenting an argument different to the argument you'd like them to present. Simply disagreeing with you doesn't make them wrong.

    In my experience, the ICL tends to follow the advice of the Family Report Writer and they are the child / family experts. Have a read
    Guidelines for Independent Children's Lawyer (2013) - Family Court of Australia

    So while their views might be 'uneducated', it is also entirely possible that they are not wrong and your view is impartial. You're right, it is human nature to pick sides, but those closest to the case - that is the parents have a stronger motivation to 'pick sides' than anyone else..

    As far as the whole system needs urgent help. I kinda think it ain't a bad system. There are gov''t funded mediation services which are free or almost free. But it is up to individuals to be reasonable.

    Let me give you my sad story. Split up - so sad. Ex won't let me see the kids. I organise mediation with Relationships Australia. Waste of time because the ex won't let me see the kids. She wants supervised visits. Only 4 months ago while still together, she was happy to go out every Friday night and leave the kids at home with dad. I want 4-5 nights a fortnight, her compromise 1 night a month. Oh, dear.

    Now it could have all been sorted at mediation for stuff all costs. She gets legal aid. I get a solicitor. She proposes she have sole parental responsibility and she gets 105% of our combined assets. Crazy. She loses her legal aid grant and has to hire a private solicitor. I stop paying the mortgage on the house she is living in. It is getting nasty...

    We only avoid court because I've backed her into a situation where we could lose the house unless she starts playing along and letting me see the kids. Eventually, we agree to an incremental increase in my time with kids leading up to 5 nights a fortnight and she gets 65% of the assets. Now, I reckon between us we blew $40 000 on solicitors. I blew about $25 000.

    Now given we had an asset pool of about $200 000 - we managed to blow about 20% of our combined wealth on solicitors without ever seeing inside a courthouse. Why? Well because one person (her) could not see that her getting 105% of assets was dumb and her getting sole parental responsibility and allowing me 1 night a month access was crazy.

    The end result.... Well in court, I might have gotten 6 or 7 nights a fortnight and she might have gotten 70% of assets, but if it cost us both another $40 000 each to get there then the asset pool would have only been $80 000 and not $200 000.

    So in my humble opinion, the only reason people have to spend crazy money in family law or self represent and live through crazy stress levels is because one of the parties judgement is so far removed from societal expectations and the rule of law that the other party has to either choose to spend money in court or walk away from the whole thing...

    Oh and BTW to the SRL - no offence but SRL are often the least best people to make value judgements because you don't have someone who makes a living understanding this stuff to help you comprehend it. I gotta tell you, I reckon I'm pretty smart, no genius, but pretty smart. I find reading the legislation and court notes almost impossible to comprehend and that is why SRL is hard work there is emotion and confusion.

    One more thing - what exactly is it that the ICL has done that you reckon is so bad?

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