When you have children, everything about a divorce can lead to stress for them. Some parents want their children to have a say in what happens during the divorce. This is sometimes suitable, but you should carefully consider what impact it might have on the children.
One thing that the court will consider when trying to decide if a child can testify during a divorce hearing is the maturity of the child. This matters because the court must determine if the child is competent enough to make the determinations necessary to understand the ramifications of what they say.
Typically, courts won’t allow children to have a say in many aspects of the divorce. One of the areas where kids might have a say is child custody. This can put them in a difficult position because there is a chance that the children will feel like they have to choose sides regarding the end of the marriage.
There isn’t usually an age limit for when children can testify. It is possible that the court will call children into chambers to speak their piece. This might help them speak freely because neither parent would be there to hear what is being discussed. If this is the case, there will usually be someone there to make sure that the child is doing fine during the testimony.
Ultimately, each case has to be handled individually with the focus placed on how testimony will impact the child. This has to remain at the focus of the case. Your California family law attorney can help you do that.
Source: FindLaw, “Can My Child Testify at a Divorce Hearing?,” George Khoury, Esq., accessed July 21, 2017