Will My Child Have to Appear in My Divorce Hearing in Grove City Ohio?
When going through a divorce, you have to deal with many frustrating emotions that are draining. As an adult, this is easily taken on, but as a child it can be a particularly difficult task. Due to this, many parents find themselves asking: will my child have to appear as a witness in my divorce hearing?
It is becoming more frequent for divorce cases to use children as witnesses to various aspects of a marriage. From affection, to how frequently a parent has been around, to adultery claims, the testimony of a child can be a big factor in the ultimate decisions made in a divorce case. However, simply putting a child on the stand to testify has to be approached very cautiously, as children are easy to manipulate to one side’s legal advantage.
Any child under the age of 18 must be screened by court officials for competence before they are allowed to deliver any testimony within the court procedures. By doing this, unethical use of the child as a witness is avoided. In general, the court will be accessing two main attributes of the child before allowing them to testify. First, they must ensure that the child actually holds personally witnessed information. Secondly, the ability of the child to tell the story multiple times without it being abstracted is important. Essentially, the court must ensure that the child is not being coached, or that lapses in memory are affecting their ability to provide honest testimony.
To protect both parties in the divorce, the child is subject to cross-examination from both parties. By doing this, the true story of the content the child is testifying to will become clearer. On-camera testimonies and cross-examinations are often used in child testimony. This is done due to the high-stress environment of a child inside of an actual courtroom.
Are you debating whether or not your child should appear in your court case, or are you worried your spouse may be manipulating your child to provide inaccurate testimony? If you need a divorce lawyer in Grove City, please contact the Jeff Buskirk & Associates team immediately to set up a free consultation. We will dedicate ourselves to helping you ensure any testimony delivered by your child is fair, and that your child is protected emotionally during this difficult time.