This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

How VLA can help with ICLs

How Victoria Legal Aid can help clients with independent children's lawyers (ICLs).

Changes to guidelines for independent children's lawyers

From 8 April 2013, new guidelines take effect which affect the kinds of matters that will be eligible for a grant of legal assistance.

A factsheet at the foot of this page 'Family Law Independent Children's Lawyers' has a summary of the changes.

Court may ask for an ICL to be appointed

Sometimes in family law cases the court will ask VLA to appoint an independent children’s lawyer. This may be a VLA lawyer or private lawyer.

Usually Victoria Legal Aid pays the costs of the independent children’s lawyer. However, Victoria Legal Aid generally asks each party to pay a contribution to this lawyer’s legal costs.

A party’s capacity to pay is taken into account. For instance, a party whose case is funded by Victoria Legal Aid will not be required to make a contribution.

The VLA Handbook for lawyers sets out how to apply for a grant of legal assistance and the guidelines and conditions of receiving a grant.

See VLA Handbook for lawyers.

VLA’s Legal Help gives free information by phone about the law and how VLA can help. It’s open Monday to Friday, 8.45 am to 5.15 pm. Call Legal Help on 1300 792 387.

The level of help depends on the kind of matter and on whether the caller is a priority client.

Legal Help services include:

  • a triage service—clients are referred to the most appropriate service
  • general legal information—unless the matter is out of scope
  • targeted referrals both within and outside VLA
  • advice about legal proceure—priority clients in some areas of law
  • legal advice by phone—priority clients in some areas of law.

For more information about the kinds of matters where priority clients can get phone advice see Legal Help phone advice.

Out of scope matters

For information about matters that are not covered by the Legal Help service see VLA Legal Help.

Language line

This service is provided in different languages.

See Legal Help language lines.

VLA produces a range of legal information for the public. For information see 'VLA resources for clients' under this topic.

The VLA Service Directory is a searchable database that contains details of all services offered by VLA to clients. Service information is available for all regional offices and all city practice divisions.

See Service directory.

Public law library

Our law library is the only specialist law library in Victoria open to the public. It has a wide range of resources in print and electronic forms, covering a variety of legal topics. The library is open Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Staff can also search the library catalogue to access all books, journals, videos, reports and reference material held by the library, and networked CD-ROM services.

See VLA library catalogue.

See also Library and research.

The VLA Handbook for lawyers sets out how to apply for a grant of legal assistance and the guidelines and conditions of receiving a grant.


For a collection of grants resources and training materials see LawHub topic Grants of legal assistance.


Changes to guidelines for Independent Children's Lawyers

Family law independent children's lawyers fact sheet (doc, 203 KB)(opens in a new window)

Information for practitioners about changes to eligibility guidelines affecting ICLs.