Will My Child Be Allowed To Testify In A Child Custody Case In Pasco County, Florida?
If you are going through a child custody battle in Pasco County or Hernando County, Florida, and you have a mature, well-spoken child who wishes to live with you, you may be tempted to call them as a witness in your child custody case. More and more children have been called into court to testify in divorce or child custody cases in recent years.
However, in Florida, children under 18 cannot appear or testify in court without the court's permission. In Florida, most courts do not want children to testify at all. Only extremely rarely can children under the age of 12 testify. Children 13 or older may be allowed to testify in some situations if they have relevant information that no other witness can provide. If another individual can provide the same information as the child, the court may not allow the child to testify.
Judges often feel children should not be asked to testify against a parent. The child may feel guilty or embarrassed, and his or her relationship with one or both parents could be permanently damaged. The child may resent the parent who asked them to testify and feel guilty about the testimony against the other parent. Therefore, except in extreme cases, it’s better to build your case in different ways that don’t involve the children.
Child custody disputes are among the most heated types of legal disputes. Parents may not be able to agree and may feel their children could be damaged by spending too much time with the other parent, depending on the circumstances.
Call Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office, today at (727) 312-1112 or contact us online to learn more if your child can testify in your custody case!