Below, we discuss some of our readers' most common questions. You might ask your child’s doctor which parent usually accompanies him to visits, and establish whether your child has any special needs that one parent is better able to meet than the other. Again, they might be somewhat biased, and the judge probably expects this. I assume from your question that you are representing yourself and calling these witnesses to help your case. Some questions can establish how involved your ex is with your child’s daily routine. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. If you are contesting child custody in your divorce case, your spouse's divorce lawyer may ask you questions during a deposition. These questions take on a particular significance when deciding whether to call a child’s therapist as a witness in a custody dispute. Court operations during COVID-19 Because of COVID-19, many conferences, hearings, and proceedings are Your witnesses should have immediate, firsthand knowledge of anything they testify to, or the judge won’t allow them to answer. Who does your child normally eat dinner with? In a child custody dispute, both parties have very different claims and interpretations of events and parenting styles. For example, they can’t say, “Sally Smith told me that…”. Can you leave work if your child is sick or otherwise needs you? Do you work any overtime? Does your child behave any differently when he’s been with one parent or the other? They’re going to tell you and the court that he’s a perfect parent. Likewise, your attorney may ask your spouse questions pertaining to child custody matters. Which parent typically calls in for assistance when there’s a health problem? If the question is unclear, or ambiguous, you can request that the attorney ask the question another way. But avoid using them as character witnesses. Time Past, Present and Future with Children 1. They can also be complex, and the way that they are decided varies from each state and region. The judge’s job is to establish what sort of custody arrangement is in the best interests of your child, and the answers you get to your questions should directly relate to this issue. • To determine how to deal with a child custody case, a judge will usually ask certain questions to gather information about the case … Just like the hair example or plumber example, I could cut and color my own hair but it isn’t going to look anywhere as good as if I hired a professional. Questioning Teachers, Physicians, Coaches and Other Adults. When you have legal custody of your child, you’re entitled to make decisions on behalf of your child. Versus character witnesses, it is often wise to think about fact witnesses that might have something important to say. Who oversees homework and school projects? At a trial for the final determination of custody, you and the 1) How Is Legal Custody Different from Physical Custody? How to Testify in a Custody Case Most people are nervous when they tes tify in court. Contrary to what you may think, the court does not prefer to determine who gets custody of a child. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. There’s an art to eliciting great expert testimony, and you have to know the right questions to ask. Consider asking and establishing how often these people see your child with you, and how often she’s with his other parent. You should always begin each question with a distinct qualifier, such as who, what, where, when or how. You can’t lead witnesses with your questions, either, such as by stating “Isn’t it true that…” You can’t fish for the response you’re looking for. Before Ask teachers which parent typically attends conferences and other school activities. Answer questions completely, be honest and try to remain calm. Questions to Ask in a Child Custody Case How do the courts determine who gets custody? Witnesses at a Child Custody Hearing When custody is in dispute, each parent will need to present evidence to a judge showing why they deserve custody. When you are facing a child custody issue, you may have a lot of questions. You might want to look into legal aid or pro bono services if your budget isn’t such that you can afford an attorney. To better prepare for a custody dispute, parents She specializes in family law and estate law and has mediated family custody issues. Are there any changes in his work habits during these times? When and how often? Travis earned his J.D. Consider asking for help if you don’t have the same level of experience, particularly if your ex is using a lawyer. Expert witnesses can be used in child custody cases to help parties convince the court that they should be granted custody. In a child custody battle, a judge will ask several questions to determine which child custody arrangement, sole or joint custody, will work best for the children involved. A. No need to navigate the legal waters alone, Law for Families is here to help! Each witness should understand the importance of testimony in a child custody case and be prepared to testify in a logical, organized manner. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. Questioning witnesses in open court is not something the average parent excels at, and you might not want to do it on your own. Child custody cases can be some of the most contentious. The court doesn’t want to disrupt your child’s life or change his lifestyle any more than is absolutely necessary simply because you and his other parent don't want to live together any longer. The challenge in child custody cases is to get important information to the judge while following all court rules. What are the names of your child’s best friends? These do's and don'ts will help you present yourself to the courts in the best light and help you win your child custody case. What to ask depends on what facts you want each of these people to talk about relevant to the child custody issue. There’s an art to asking questions to elicit great expert testimony in custody court. At a temporary hearing, a witness is more likely to provide testimony by affidavit, which is a written, sworn statement. An approach that works with one witness might be disastrous with another. Procedures in Child Custody Disputes When a Parent Doesn't Return the Child, How to Make an Outline for Witnesses in a Child Custody Case, American Bar Association: The Direct Examination of a Parent, Bender Lefante Family Law: Witnesses in a Child Custody Case, Family Law in British Columbia: Sample Questions to Ask When Cross-Examining Witnesses, LSNJ Law: Representing Yourself in Court – How to Question Your Witnesses, FindLaw: Focusing on the “Best Interests” of the Child. Mentioned ahead are a few child custody-related questions you should ask your divorce attorney to be well-informed. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. If you are representing yourself in court, then you need to prepare to ask witnesses questions. Family members aren't always the best witnesses. Many parents take a case to trial based on hearing what they want to hear from their youngster. Child custody cases are almost always challenging situations, as it is up to a judge to make nuanced decisions based on each family situation. Be clear and brief. See Sample questions to ask when cross-examining witnesses at a Supreme Court trial to find out more about cross-examination. Educate yourself on court rules and procedures before you attempt to represent yourself in custody court. Who will care for the children when you’re at work if they’re not in school? What to Do When it comes to winning custody, you need to make sure that you demonstrate a willingness to work with your ex while also demonstrating that your children would benefit from you having custody. The witnesses you choose to have testify in your child custody case greatly influence the way the judge perceives you as well as the outcome of the case. In a child custody hearing or trial, witnesses often provide the judge with additional information or clarify legal issues raised by the parents. 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