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Child testimony can sometimes be useful in child custody battles

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

In divorce proceedings involving children, the issue of custody is almost always a predominant one. Texas residents who have faced similar situations can attest that child custody can be one of the most bitterly contested parts of a divorce. However, asking a child to testify in divorce court can have both beneficial and detrimental effects. 

It may seem on the surface to be a good idea for a child to testify in a custody case, considering it seems as though that would give them their own "voice" in the proceedings. However, the long-term effects this can have on the child's relationship with both parents should be taken into consideration. Parents undergoing divorce do not always have the clearest heads, emotionally speaking, so it can be beneficial to ask the question of whether it is truly necessary to have a child testify. 

With this said, however, in some cases such a testimony can be valuable. In cases where abuse or other serious circumstances that could endanger a child's safety are in play, a child's testimony can be invaluable in influencing the court to look further into such an unpleasant possibility. In this case, a child speaking for him or herself can sometimes situate them to enter a safer environment once the divorce is over. 

Ultimately, child custody is dependent upon a variety of factors, not the least of which is the court's perception of the family as a whole. Texas parents considering asking their children to testify in a divorce setting may wish to seek support and counseling for them and their children before taking this step. There are a number of important issues to consider before proceeding with a plan of action, and professional assistance in addressing these matters is often a crucial part of the equation.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Child Testimony in Divorce Proceedings", Caroline Choi, Jan. 29, 2015

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