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.

References for ICLs

Information for staff about independent children's lawyers (ICLs).

A comprehensive resource to support Australia's Independent Children's Lawyers (ICLs) has been launched by National Legal Aid. The site has brochures for parents about the role of an ICL. There is also an interactive animation designed to explain the ICL role. The ICLS can sign up to access the membership only part of the site where significant cases, legislation and social science resources are made available.

See National Legal Aid—Independent Children's Lawyers(opens in a new window).

Guidelines for independent children’s lawyers

The Family Courts site links to guidelines for Independent children’s lawyers.

See Family Court—Independent children's lawyer(opens in a new window).

VLA Learning Hub

Role of the Independent children's lawyer

This session, presented by Caroline Smith, VLA Independent Children's Lawyer in May 2014, explains what Independent children's lawyers do.

See Role of the Independent children's lawyer(opens in a new window).

Access for Community legal centres

This lecture can be viewed online by Community Legal Centre staff and volunteers. To gain access staff will need to contact the Professional Legal Education team and ask for the link and password. Lecture materials can also be provided on request.

Please email

The Law Handbook

Fitzroy Legal Service’s Law Handbook has a brief section that explains the role of an independent children's lawyer.

See Parental responsibility for children(opens in a new window).

Family Law and Practice Commentary

The CCH website has information about the appointment of an independent children's lawyer (ICL), including:

  • the role of an ICL
  • how an ICL is appointed [¶18-003]
  • what happens in the case of a child with a disability
  • practitioner's checklist [¶18-000]
  • guidelines for the appointment of an independent children's lawyer [¶18-005]
  • discharging or removing an independent children's lawyer [¶18-004]
  • how the Family Law Rules affect ICLs.

VLA Lawyers have access to 'Independent representation of children' in CCH—Australian family law and practice commentary(opens in a new window).

VLA Professional support — Family law practice resources

The Professional support team have collated a page of resources to assist with family law practice. The page links to latest news, case notes and other relevant materials. The 'Related resources' section links to the latest edition of the 'Best practice guidelines for lawyers doing family law work'.

See Practice resources—Family(opens in a new window).

For a list of parenting order precedent documents see Practice resources—Family law resources—Precedent orders(opens in a new window).

Case summaries

For summaries of key family law cases see: Family case notes(opens in a new window).

Family law publications

The following publications may be useful:

  • How to run your family law case
  • Airport watch list order
  • Contravention kit

See Practice resources—Family law resources—Family law publications(opens in a new window).

Note: These resources are only available to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

The library has shortlisted some key resources for family law. These include loose-leaf services journals and key texts.

See Library and research tools—Family law research links(opens in a new window).

Note: These resources are only available to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

LexisNexis Practical Guidance: Family law

This resource has checklists and commentary about various family law matters.

See LexisNexis Practical guidance—Family law(opens in a new window).

Note: This resource is only available to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

Federal Circuit and Family Court

The courts has a series of YouTube videos that are designed to assist people who are representing themselves in court. The video explains how to prepare for court, what to bring, what the court layout looks like and court etiquette. There is also a video that explains how to apply for divorce and how to serve divorce papers.

One video explains how to use the court's e-lodgement system.

See Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia—Official YouTube account(opens in a new window)

This specialist community legal service can assist LGBTIQ+ clients across Victoria with legal issues including discrimination, unfair dismissal, change of name/gender, Centrelink and NDIS appeals, criminal law, family violence and evictions.

See LGBTIQ Legal Service(opens in a new window).

Court network

This voluntary, non-legal service provides support, information and referral for people who are involved in the court system. They have an online referral service so that people can make a booking before they attend court to get some help from a volunteer.

See Court Network(opens in a new window).

The service also provides a booklet for people who are representing themselves at a final hearing in the Family Law Courts.

  • 'Resource booklet for people attending a final hearing in the Family Law Courts without a lawyer'

See Court Network—Brochures(opens in a new window).