When to Use Child Testimony in Passaic County Custody Cases
Child custody is often one of most hard-fought battles waged in family law courts in situations of divorce or separation. Parents often have strong opinions about what is best for their children and will fight hard to make sure their child or children are protected. It is common during these court battles for parents to use all resources at their disposal to help achieve their goals. Testimony from friends, family, medical professionals, and therapists can all help a parent to paint a picture for the court of each parent’s ability to provide the most suitable environment for the child. In some cases, the opinions of the children themselves are used to help the court in determining what is in their best interest. The decision on whether to use child testimony can be a very difficult one, and there are several factors that should be considered.
The New Jersey family lawyers at The Montanari Law Group assist clients in Passaic and Essex counties with all types of family law matters. From our offices in Woodland Park, it has been our honor to serve as trusted legal resources for surrounding communities. If you have questions regarding child custody or other family law matter, contact us online or by phone today at (973) 233-4396 for a free consultation.
Critical Considerations with Child Testimony in Passaic County Family Law Courts
The age of a child is the first critical consideration. Very young children are often poor historians and may have a difficult time accurately recounting events. Teenagers, however, are much more adept at providing precise details than a five-year-old. Moreover, if you are contemplating calling your child as a witness to provide testimony about a particular event, you will need to be confident that the child will actually be able to remember the event accurately and in a way that is helpful for the court.
In addition, the trauma that testifying can inflict on the child is also an important consideration. Asking a child to stand up in front of his or her parents and make a firm decision about where to live can be the most difficult of things, as the child may not want to hurt the feelings of either parent. In many cases, the child may have a positive relationship with both parents and me see the choice as losing one of their parents permanently.
Instances Where Your Child’s Testimony is Necessary to Achieve the Best Child Custody Outcome
There may be some circumstances when asking your child to testify is crucial and absolutely necessary. For example, if your child is the only one, other than yourself, who has witnessed your former spouse engage in domestic violence or drinking alcohol to excess and there is no other evidenced of it. Many factors critical to determining the best child custody arrangement may have occurred within the privacy of the family and as such may have only been witnessed by you and or your children. However, the importance of the testimony to achieving the custody or visitation goals must be carefully and compassionately weighed against the potential trauma and anxiety that testifying could cause the child.
Contact a Wayne NJ Child Custody Lawyer for Answers
If you are involved in or will be entering into a divorce with child custody considerations, it is crucial that you have an experienced and dedicated lawyer to help you understand your rights and your options. The child custody attorneys at The Montanari Law Group have decades of experience working with clients in Clifton, Wayne, Little Falls, Patterson, West Millford, Woodland Park and all over Passaic County. Contact our attorneys in Passaic County at (973) 233-4396 to speak with an experienced NJ family lawyer.