Child representatives are trained professionals who are appointed by the court for the following:
Child representatives represent the voice of the child and present an objective assessment of the care arrangements which are in the best interests of the child. The child representative helps you to refocus on what is objectively best for your child and provides as much available information as is required by the court to make a decision on the arrangements for your child.
They do not represent either parent's interests and cannot give parties legal advice.
The child representative will also explain to your child:
The court may appoint a child representative if it considers it necessary for your child's welfare and wellbeing.
You may also request the appointment of a child representative if you feel it is necessary for your case. This request can be made by filing a summons via eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.
You may choose to file the documents personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer. If you are representing yourself, you must follow the Family Justice Rules and the Family Justice Courts (FJC) Practice Directions to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.
You will need to let the court know why a child representative is important in your case, and both you and your former spouse will have to contribute towards the costs of the child representative.
After the court appoints a child representative for your child, the child representative will contact you in one of two ways:
If the court appoints a child representative for your case, they may do any of the following:
At court proceedings, the child representative will:
The child representative's role will end shortly after the court makes its final order. If necessary, the child representative will prepare your child in advance before the final order is made.
Your former spouse and you will have to bear the cost of engaging a child representative.
There are 2 tiers of costs of the child representative:
The court has the discretion to make any cost orders, including the following:
If you wish to have a child representative removed, you will need to file a summons via eLitigation at the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau. You may choose to file the documents personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer. If you are representing yourself, you must follow the Family Justice Rules and the FJC Practice Directions to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.
The removal of a child representative is subject to the court's discretion and only in exceptional cases where the circumstances warrant it, for example, if there is evidence the child representative does any of the following:
You may seek legal advice if you want to ask the court to remove the child representative. Costs can be ordered against you if your application is unsuccessful.
Legislation associated with this topic includes Order 30 to 34 of the Family Justice Rules.
Refer to Paragraph 8 of the FJC Practice Directions for child representatives.
Depending on the nature of your case, the court may also appoint a parenting coordinator to work with you and your former spouse to help both parties co-parent effectively and implement access arrangements smoothly.
Find out more about parenting coordinators.