A Child Impact Report (CIR) is a Report that is Ordered by the Court to provide a preliminary assessment of what is in the children’s best interests. The Report is prepared by a Court Child Expert after meeting with both parents and the children and viewing any Court material regarding the family.
What is a Court Child Expert?
A Court Child Expert is a qualified psychologist or social worker who has experience involving familial separation. These Experts are appointed by the Court as a result of their qualifications.
What does the Report consider?
The Report will consider and address a range of issues, such as:-
- The children’s views;
- The children’s relationships with each parent and other family members, including other siblings, stepparents and grandparents if relevant;
- Any family violence, mental health issues or other risk issues;
- The children’s development and developmental needs; and
- Any other factors the Expert thinks relevant to the children and the family.
How is the Report prepared?
The Report is prepared after the Court Child Expert meets with both parents (separately) and then on a separate day, with the children.
The Expert will ask the parents questions about the children, their relationships and development as well as any family violence or other risk issues.
In the interview with the children, dependent upon the children’s ages, the Expert will ask the children about their views and their experiences with their family/each parent.
What is the Report used for?
Following the interviews, the Expert will prepare a written report outlining the above and any recommendations and file it directly with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. Following this, the Court will release the Report to the parties. After the Report has been filed, it will become evidence in your matter and cannot be used outside of the proceedings without permission of the Court.
If you have any questions about Child Impact Reports or believe a Report would be beneficial in your matter, please contact one of the friendly team at Family Focus Legal and we can discuss the Child Impact Report further.