For most parents, getting a divorce can most definitely be difficult. If you have children, it’s hard for them to have to go through this. If not handled well, this might just have a negative impact on them. While you want to minimize the impact, what if they need to testify? But wait, can they?
As much as it might be difficult to imagine, it is possible for children to testify during divorce proceedings. Usually, children are only asked to testify when it comes to matters of custody. For any other matters regarding the divorce, children are usually left out. When children are asked to testify, the court does not really take into consideration the child’s age. What the court puts more emphasis on would be whether they are competent enough to testify. That means that the child basically has to be mentally mature enough to understand what is going on and also be able to contribute something that may be of relevance to the proceedings. Of course, the court still has to make sure that children not yet in their teen years are questioned carefully to avoid biasing them or causing a mistrial.
How They Testify
If the child needs to testify before a court during their parents’ divorce proceedings, they may or may not have to testify in front of the court. Instead, the child may just end up talking to the judge handling the proceedings. This way, the child is put in a more comfortable environment. The judge and the child can then just talk. The amount of consideration the judge gives to the child’s testimony also depends on the age of the child and how mentally mature they are. Though the child cannot completely dictate who they want to live with, the judge will take their testimony into consideration. Especially if the child is older, such as in their teens. What’s most important here is that the judge will keep the child’s best interests in mind.
As much as you wouldn’t ever want your child to choose between their parents, sometimes they really need to testify to help sort out matters such as that of custody. It puts them in such a difficult position, after all. But no matter how young they are, they also have a say because it’s their family too. What your child thinks matters just as much.
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