Three Restrictions In Family Court And Special Circumstances That Your Child Custody Lawyer Could Override
There are many restrictions in family court when minors are involved. The younger the child or children involved in your divorce, the more likely it is that your children will have court-appointed representation whether they want it or not. The children themselves are frequently not allowed in court, nor are any other people besides you, your ex, the judge, the lawyers, a bailiff or two, and maybe a court reporter. However, there are some special circumstances that would allow or override these formal legal proceedings and restrictions.
Your Children Are Old Enough to Testify or Make Their Own Legal Requests
Until minor children are eighteen, most country and district courts will view them as dependents in need of representation. However, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, some courts in a few states may allow children to act as their own witnesses to treatment by either parent and/or make requests of the courts for their placement and care. Age may not be the only restriction and exception in these proceedings; criminal issues may play a big part too.
Parents Are Exceedingly Abusive or Neglectful
In cases where parents are divorcing and one parent is accused of being exceedingly negligent or abusive, the children may be asked to speak in court about their own experiences of living with the offending parent. Of course, these children must also meet certain age requirements, or the judge and children's lawyer may choose to speak to the children behind a judge's closed doors without the parents present.
This is so the children do not feel intimidated by the alleged abusive parent or coerced by the non-abusing parent. If you have made claims of abuse or neglect against your ex, the children will probably be interviewed without you or your ex present anyway.
Adult "Witnesses" Are Not Allowed in Court Unless There Are Criminal Charges Pending
Lastly, any "witnesses" you or your ex bring to court to speak on your behalf with regards to child abuse or neglect issues, be aware that these people will not be allowed in. They may be invited back to speak on a criminal case pending against your ex for child abuse, and the result of that case may be used by the child custody lawyer to convince the judge in family court that there is a definite reason for wanting people to speak for you. Usually, just the expert testimonies of teachers, nurses and social workers is entered via a scanner and document imager.
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