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 child who is mature, well-spoken and wishes to live with you, you may be tempted to call him or her as a witness in your child custody case. In recent years, more and more children have been called into court to testify in either divorce or child custody cases.
However, in Florida children under the age of 18 cannot appear or testify in court without the permission of the court. In Florida, most courts do not want children to testify at all. Only extremely rarely can children under the age of 12 testify. Children who are 13 or older may be allowed to testify in some situations if they have relevant information that no other witness can provide. If it is possible for another individual to provide the same information as the child, the court may not allow the child to testify.
Judges often feel that children should not be asked to testify against a parent. The child may feel very 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 him or her to testify, and may feel guilty about the testimony against the other parent. Therefore, except in extreme cases, it’s better to build your case in other 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.