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Is the Child Ever Required to Appear or Testify in Court?

The Law Office Phillips & Allen PA Nov. 19, 2022

Maybe depending on the age of the child and it also varies from judge to judge. There are different options. The judges can meet with the child in chambers or the judges can meet with the child and attorneys in chambers. The courts can also appoint a guardian ad litem, an attorney, for the child. Then that attorney can speak for the child. The parties have the decision whether they want to call the child as a witness or not, but sometimes with some judges and younger children, they do not want to put the kid through that so they will not hear it.

If The Parents Cannot Agree On An Arrangement Does The Court Step In And Make A Decision?

There are two circumstances there. One, if there is no court order and then the case needs to get filed and the court in some circumstances will do a temporary custody hearing to establish custody before the final trial. If the parents are really just not working things out at all and there is the snatch and grab stuff going on or one parent is not allowing the other parent to see the child, sometimes we can get a temporary custody order, but ultimately the final decision gets made at trial if the parents cannot agree.

Ideally, parents should have tried to work out some kind of an agreement but if they get there for whatever reason, one of them is being unreasonable or both are being unreasonable, then the decision gets made at trial. That can change. We often view custody cases as a marathon not a sprint. There is going to be a first trial, but then if you start with a younger child, often those cases will go back to court one or two more times before the child’s an adult. The situation has changed and the parents are in disagreement and the case goes back to court.

Unique Attributes In Handling Family Law Cases

Family law is about a third of my practice and the good thing about that is, I am not entirely dependent on it so I pick and choose the cases I take and basically I take family law cases where I am the guy wearing the white hat. I will not represent a parent I interview that I feel has been a bad parent. Also, we have a situation where a child is at risk, those are cases I am very quick to jump in. For example, dad comes to me and mom’s got a drug problem and mom’s taken off to another state, I mean that is the kind of case I jump in with both feet.

Being a parent myself helps in relating to the emotional intensity that parents experience in these cases, because it is a very primal drive to protect and defend and to have your children and it is extremely grueling for parents to go through these things. A lot of parents do it, they set aside their differences and they figure out what is best for the kid and they work together on it but unfortunately, there are a lot of parents that either one of them or both of them are unable to do that.More often than not, it is one parent that is a problem when one parent is being pretty reasonable about it and the other parent just has very unrealistic wants or expectations about how things should be.

Additional Information Regarding Child Custody And Child Support

One of the things that separate us from other attorneys is that we do other types of law. We do criminal defense, we do a range of larger civil cases and with that experience, you learn a lot of the complicated strategies that you witness on how we pick up in family law. Family law is an area of law, it is more simplistic than a lot of the other areas and with three litigators that have done a lot of the more complicated litigation, we bring a wider skill set to the challenge in litigating a family law case. We are all family people, all in relationships, we all have kids so we can relate to what people are going through. The good news about divorce is, it is not as cold, the bad news is it is definitely hot.

For more information on Testifying In Court, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking talk Arnold F. Phillips by calling today.