Can my child testify in a Florida child custody hearing?
It is rare. In most cases it is not a good idea to drag your child in a custody battle and judges are hesitant to allow a child to testify in a custody case. In fact The Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure includes a presumption against allowing your child to testify in court.
Having your child testify can be very stressful on your child and they could end up feeling guilty if they feel they have betrayed you in some way. You should keep this in mind even in spite of the fact that your child’s “testimony” will almost always consist of the Judge asking your child questions outside of the presence of you and your spouse and your attorneys it still could be harmful.
However, the court rules do allow your child to testify in court if a party brings a motion to allow the child to testify and demonstrates “good cause” for allowing the testimony.
Before you consider using your child as a witness, you need to ask yourself:
- Is this information important enough to bring the child into court?
- If so, is there another way I can get the information before the judge without having to have my child testify?
Remember the most important witness in your custody case is you, so it’s best to be prepared and not active in a vindictive or malicious manner.