If you’re reading this webpage then it probably means your parents have separated. This is generally a really tough and confusing time. But it’s important to remember that their separation is not because of you or your siblings; rather, it is because of their problems with each other. This video explores some of the themes and questions you might have had (or continue to deal with) as a result of the family break up.
Sometimes the next step in the process is that your parents go to court. This is because they don’t agree on what should happen for you. The judge will make an order that will tell your parents what they need to do for you. The judge will take into account your views, although they won’t always do what you ask. They make judgments that have your best interests in mind.
The Independent Children's Lawyer: ICLs are there to represent your best interests. They are not on the side of one parent or the other… they go to court to make sure the right things happen for you. They will tell the judge what you want to happen, and also, what they think is best (see video).
What happens at court: If you go to the court building, you will wait somewhere while your parents talk to the family consultant. It might be helpful to bring a book, iPod, or smartphone (if permitted at your local site) as it can take a while. You will then spend some time with the family consultant and discuss your home situation and what you want for the future.
The family consultant: Family consultants are professionals (psychologists and social workers) who work for the Court to help judges understand about families. They talk to parents and young people, then write a report for the judge. The judge will make a decision if parents can’t agree, and they are often helped by the report from a family consultant.