Notes on Guideline 3.4 – appointment of an ICL for FDRS in matters involving international child abduction

Note: The lawyer is not required to assess eligibility under this guideline. Grants under this guideline are allocated by Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) to lawyers on the independent children's lawyer panel.

The following information provides guidance on how to interpret and apply guideline 3.4 and should be read in conjunction with that guideline in the Handbook. Where there is any inconsistency between the following information and the guidelines, the guidelines will prevail.

For more information relating to VLA’s Family Dispute Resolution Service (FDRS), see Important information about FDRS.

(a) Eligibility criteria

Assistance may be available under this guideline where criteria A and B are met.

Criteria A and B

Grants of assistance for the separate representation of a child by an ICL under this guideline will only be made where a court orders VLA to appoint an ICL and we decide that it is reasonable to make the grant.

ICLs may also get assistance for time-limited ongoing work necessary for the implementation of orders.

(b) Grants assessment process

Applications for assistance under this guideline are not within the simplified grants process (SGP). ICL matters are allocated to lawyers on the ICL panel.

Following allocation of the matter, VLA will put a grant of assistance in place through ATLAS. Lawyers will then be able to submit extension applications via ATLAS in the usual way ensuring that evidence supporting the extension is kept on the file.

An ICL must request an extending for funding for stage 1D litigation intervention FDRS or court-based DRC (see Fee table 4.2).

The extension request for a stage 1D grant must be lodged via Atlas on the ‘Simplified Process – Independent Children’s Lawyer’ template, making the following selections:

  • under ‘court hearings’, select ‘no court proceedings’
  • under stage 1 in the professional costs screen, select ‘stage 1 FDRS parenting, child maintenance or spousal maintenance’.

(c) Fees and billing

Fee table 4.2 sets out the fees available and the conditions attaching to grants under this guideline.