Today I’m providing important information on children’s testimonies in a dissolution proceeding.
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Typically, children do not want to be in the middle of a divorce proceeding, and I highly encourage parents to keep them out of the proceeding as much as possible. There are many ways to hear from the children without them having to testify in court—if hearing from them is even appropriate at all given the circumstances.
We have what’s called a children’s interview where the court can appoint someone to speak with the children so they don’t have to endure the potentially terrifying experience of testifying. The court can also appoint the children their own attorney so they have someone to talk to who can relay their position to the court. Additionally, the court can hear from the children in their chambers so that they don’t have to sit on a stand and testify in front of both of their parents, the attorneys, a court reporter, and a judge.
"Think long and hard before you insert your children
into the dissolution proceeding."
Though there are plenty of alternatives to having children testify in a dissolution proceeding, some parents are perfectly okay with it. In that case, the magic number is 14; that’s typically the age at which the court will allow a child to testify. However, the court must deem that it’s in the child’s best interest to testify. So, even at the age of 14, the court may find cause to bar the child from testifying.
Again, I would encourage you to think long and hard before you insert your children into the dissolution proceeding because it can have a long-lasting impact on their lives.
As always, I hope this information was helpful to you. If you have more questions about this or any other related topic, feel free to explore our website and browse our YouTube channel.