VIC ICL not so impartial

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Whatnext, 9 October 2019.

  1. Whatnext

    Whatnext Member

    24 August 2019
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    Hi, i feel i know the answer to this but appreciate other opinions.

    Would it be appropriate for an ICL to interview children at my ex-wife's lawyer's office?
    Can that be considered at arms length?

    I only found out because my 12 year old daughter told me this happened. That only occurerd because she wanted to tell me she was not happy with the ICL. I heard she was pushy, didnt want to listen to what they wanted and eventually the kids gave up and my daughter said "Fine , if we have to". I promissed them the ICL was there for them to tell the court what theywant, apparently not, the ICL made a liar out of me.

    The ICL turned what my daughter daid into "What the children want." that I knew was untrue but i'm smart enough to know when there is no hope. ....a battle of he said she said with Dad vs ICL, problably not a good thing to get into. Then after everything is signed and not what the kids or I wanted, I realised the kids were quoted as to what they really want in the family im thinking maybe there's a little justice to be had for the kids after all.

    I dont know if the place the ICL chose to meet the children would be considered suspicous.
    The ICLs office is a little further out of the way, there were other options.
    No one was told of this happening to the best of myknowledge.

    I read an article about our ICL, a proud advocate for female victims of family violence. Not afraid to admit her gender bias.
    Is that acceptable when advocating for children?

    My ex wife makes more than normal amount of false allegations for a family law preceeding, i was concerned about where the ICL would go, despitte all the evidence in my corner.

    Could the ICL be considered impartial on any of these facts alone?

    Then there is the question of what do I do with this knowledge?
    Given the ridiculous situation for every parent in family law, restrained by injunction from speaking to our children about their concerns with proceedings they were dragged into, intervied several times, asked inapropriate questions and given full knowledge there's a tug of war.
    I'm expected to tell them "Dont worry about it." that I find insulting, disrespectful and harmful to children.

    I take them to see their counsellors, child psycologists. I explian what I know best i can to reasure them. There are things my chidren need to know and be reminded of, I can only protect them 50% of the time, my daughters psycologist recomended to the court that an emergency plan is put in place when the kids are in mums care. I dont trash talk their mum while she does present challanges to us all.
    Think im breeching court order helping my children understand.
    Any thoughts on that also appreciated.
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

    27 September 2015
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    ok so not a great start. But you've gotta pick your battles. Do you have representation? Has a Family Report been ordered? Mate that family report matters more than anything else.

    Don't do anything that is gonna upset the ICL... They are the last person you need to piss off right now. If you have concerns take it up with your solicitor. If you don't have a solicitor I think this is best left alone. You can't be combative as a SR and win.
  3. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer
    LawTap Verified

    28 April 2014
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    No, they just corrected your mistake.
    The ICL's role is to advocated for the best interests of the child(ren).
    That's by no means the exact same thing as simply getting he/she/them what they (think they) want.
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  4. Whatnext

    Whatnext Member

    24 August 2019
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    Thanks guys,

    Yes I agree Tim, two very different things for the ICL, and i thought obligated to do both.

    Am I correct in my thinking the ICL is to inform the court of the child's wishes AND recommend what the ICL considers is in the child's best interest?

    I did explain it this way to my kids and they understood it as such. The reason my daughter came to me and was upset, she knew what they wanted was not going to be considered by the judge.

    What the children asked for does normally have a standard response, that I've heard many times, from the same standard assumption because a FVIO is in place, mitigating circumstances are never heard from my experience. The kids simply want to be dropped off at Mum or Dads house, not a public meeting place, and there's no reason at all why this shouldn't be. Only what their mum wants for a few reasons, most of all its advice of her lawyer out of concern she could get herself in trouble after previously charged and convicted when overcome by her own rage in my driveway but can and does happen anywhere, That was three years ago , now it more about presenting as a victim and being able to control me as I live ten minutes out of town and she is 30 seconds from where we meet.

    The reason I placed so much emphasis on this one thing in our orders is more than 20 minutes driving every week in the holidays. It would show there is a willingness to cooperate, something she could do for our kids, they need reassurance that mum and dad are ok and there is no more fighting. That really means a lot here.

    I agreed to this meeting place thing a few times before she took me to court just to avoid her making an issue, then she had it added onto orders last minute on the first day in court. Underhanded dirty tactics and impossible t get rid of I'm told. I've been driving up and back twice as often as I should be and the kids know I'll put myself out every time for whatever reason and its obvious their mum never does. Nothing good about that, a crappy situation for kids to be in.

    The other issue for them is they feel embarrassed swapping cars with their stuff if their friends happen to be around, small country town we live in.

    I've had lawyers try to convince me this is "normal" and expect me to go along like I should believe the earth is flat. Maybe when you work in family law you see this every day, outside in the real world there's nothing normal about it. I don't know anyone that says come over to my place, just meet me at the park. People go to other people homes.

    This stinks of two people who are embroiled in conflict and cant be trusted to behave like rational adults. And that's the really sticky part, after trying to convince someone this is wrong for two years , this was ignored in the family report and was clearly identified as the priority. That all important family report got squashed with all the subpoenaed evidence. The priority was for our children to not be exposed to any further parental conflict or they risk developing their own mental health issues. If a primary residence is needed, the children shall live with the father.

    Sorry Sammy, yes the family report all done and parenting is final. The ICL didn't like me and that was only due to my gender from before she met me , no chance there at all. I was threatened me with my legal aid funding and she followed through with allegations made. She told me directly while at FDR the week before final trial that she would be making her recommendations in line with want the mother wanted, so I better sign now. Still, I didn't sign at FDR as I wouldn't sell out my children.

    I did have representation for 18 months when I was legally aided, my lawyer did literally nothing for those 18 months, then didn't prepare or file anything for final hearing. I'm now self represented for property only and that's a whole different mess.

    There was a psychiatric assessment ordered by the court and then it was very clever in how that got sabotaged , cancelled the day before after we waited twelve months.
    Her clinical psychologist she went to see voluntarily was subpoenaed, I read comments like "of most concern is the disregard she has for her children." ​
    A diagnosed of two personality disorders, one is a serious Cluster B, the other is Panic. ​
    She is driven to seek benefit for herself, has no remorse, lacks empathy and a disregard for other people rights. ​
    Loses control of her emotions and lashes out violently. Gets herself in trouble and so wont come to my home , then made it so I cant go to her house also. This is not the answer, not best for children, better to acknowledge the problem and go back again, accept the diagnosis and talk about it , use the strategy's she is given to control her impulsive thoughts and reactions If she can stop projecting onto everyone the situation will improve. ​
    I see its her lawyer driving litigation , a negative advocate with the course of action that is taken. ​

    So I conceded and signed consent orders, the bullies in one corner, best interest of the children was out the window , got nothing from my lawyer. I suspect favors were exchanged with other reasons but I'll leave that alone.

    There was way too much unknown, we had 50/50 and the kids are getting older , they know what to look for and will be old enough soon to hold their mum accountable themselves , so with little option I gave up.
    Could have been different but the kids were far to impartial when they had opportunity, they didn't tell the truth and the family consultant did well but didn't quite see it for what it was.
    Life goes on, every day is a challenge, we should have had a better result.

    I realised what the kids wanted was written in the family report about a week after everything was signed. They did say they wanted to get dropped off at mum and dads house's and it was put in the recommendations as an option.

    Then, in an effort to cover it up with excuses, my own lawyer wrote to me , the same lie about what the kids wanted and they told the ICL. Contradicting the family report and also contradicting their Dad, because of course they would lie to me? Two years ago I wrote what was wanted, I repeated it along the way and my position never changed. The lies that are told are astonishing and I cant believe this is common.

    Also, my lawyer tried to tell me in that same letter of excuses that the IVO would prevent drop off at parents homes from being possible, when every second year law student knows family law orders overrule the IVO conditions, not sure how that pathetic excuse slipped through.

    I recorded what my daughter told me the day after it happened, she knows and she is fine with it, she didn't like the ICL. But I'm afraid to do anything with it.

    I'm sick and tired of the injustice and its probably to late for my kids to see any. I'm still stuck in a property matter that is full of deception and lies with no equity and her lawyer looking for her fee.

    The fact mum and dad do not go to each others homes is undeniable conflict , the kids are exposed to it every time.
    The kids just want to feel normal, its been three years since separation and there's been two years of mum and dad don't talk at all , a completely silent conflict.

    The reason mum rejects her diagnosis, refuses to get treatment, has a serious disorder and everything is screwed up because her lawyer is a negative advocate. Mental health is seriously misunderstood, nothing to be afraid of, children were never being taken from anyone. If her lawyer had some insight and wasn't so ignorant, she wouldn't hide the truth, cover everything up could give some reassurance and encourage her client to be a better mum. Then accept some help and everything would be different.

    Its for my understanding that I ask and if I was to make an official complaint that I think I will because the next kids this is done too and their parent that may not be so lucky , might not see their children so often because an ICL makes bias decisions and wants to play judge.

    The meeting for the ICL and the children , at her lawyers office, seems highly suspicious.
    Do you have an opinion on that?
  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

    27 September 2015
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    I'm being nice... I really am...
    20 minute round trip? big deal... Not worth fighting.
    What the kids want / embarassed about moving from one car to the other ... BIG DEAL. Christ there are now McDonalds ad's where they acknowledge that Maccas is commonly used for this stuff.
    BTW - I do think I see some logic... See I just spent 1 hour at maccas yesterday. 1 hour is a good result for me... My ex routinely makes me wait 2 hours or more. BUT - there is free WI-FI... Even if I picked the kids up from her house, she would still make me wait, I don't doubt it... So Macca's have Wi-Fi, toilets and coffee.

    Again - what the kids wanted. They are kids. What they want counts for very little.

    You recorded your daughter. NOPE go straight to jail, do not collect $200..

    Very few drop off's happen at homes. A local Macca's is most common. Again, not a fight worth having. Definately not a hill worth dying on.

    My opinion (RESPECTFULLY) is that you're looking for conspiracies everywhere.

    So help me out... You said you have 50/50 care? Why are you in court? what are you hoping to achieve? what is mum hoping to achieve. And don't tell me mum is hoping to discredit you... Blah BLAH. What does she want to have happen with the kids?
    Scruff likes this.
  6. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

    25 July 2018
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    What you fail to see here is that you are one of those two people - there can't be any conflict otherwise. You seriously need to take a very big step back and look at how you're approaching all of this - and most importantly, do something about your attitude.

    You talk about "silent conflict", yet it appears that you actually want to put your kids in a situation where they could witness "open conflict" on a regular basis - and somehow, you seem to think that this would be better for the kids? A lot of what you're saying here is not "rational" at all and quite frankly, doesn't even make sense.

    You're bashing the ICL, lawyers, the Family Court, your ex, etc - everyone is at fault except you. To put it bluntly, you come across like a spoiled brat that isn't getting his own way. If you keep that up, you'll never get anything like what you want - which by the way, I can't even make heads or tales of what that actually is.

    If you have legal questions, then ask - but try it without all the mud slinging, because that's irrelevant opinion, not fact. The world is not against you - you just need to learn how to live in it. It would be far better that you learn how to do that now rather than later, because you won't get anywhere with the Family Court unless you do.

    I apologise if my opinions offend you - that is not my intention. But I sincerely ask that you put all feelings aside and read what you have written here so far - then ask yourself, how does this come across to total strangers who read it?

    Attitude is very important when it comes to any court. You need to do some soul searching before this matter progresses. At this point, that is the only advice that I can give and I sincerely hope it will be of some benefit to you.
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