Do Children Have To Testify During A Florida Divorce?
When a couple gets divorced and they have children together, the whole family gets divorced. Children in divorce cases must be given special consideration. When children are of a certain age, they may remember events that have occurred before and during the divorce. As such, you may worry that your children may have to testify in court during the case. During any child custody matter, the court will only consider what is in the best interests of the children. In Florida, it is not considered in the best interests of any child involved in a family law case to testify in court.
The Law on the Testimony of Children in Florida
Florida outlines a specific set of rules of civil procedure for family law matters. This is beneficial for everyone involved. Instead of making decisions through blind justice that only considers the hard facts of the case, family law is much more nuanced and special considerations must be taken. For example, once a family law case is final, the parties involved will still have to deal with each other on a regular basis, particularly when they have children together.
The Florida Statutes recognize that when children hear negative or hateful testimony about one or both of their parents, it will have a harmful impact on them. To prevent this from happening, the law in Florida prohibits children from testifying in court. In fact, the law prohibits children from attending court hearings at all. If you need to bring children onto the premises, you will likely have to obtain approval ahead of time. The only time a child can be present in a courtroom is when they have no relation to the parties involved in the case, such as when they are there for educational purposes.
Investigating the Best Interests of the Child
Even though children cannot testify or be disposed, the court understands the importance of hearing their side of things. This will help the court determine what is in the best interest of the child. To get this information, the child may be questioned by the judge in the judge’s chambers with the court reporter present.
The court may also assign a guardian ad litem to the case. A guardian ad litem will conduct an investigation so they can form an opinion about the child’s daily life, school, their involvement in the community, and their relationship to each of their parents. The guardian ad litem does not make any final decisions. They only represent the best interests of the child and after they report back to the court and a judge will have the final say if the parents cannot decide.
Our Child Custody Attorneys in Tampa Can Protect Your Rights
If you are going through a divorce or have a dispute regarding your children, our Tampa child custody attorneys at All Family Law Group, P.A. can protect your rights and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation of your case with one of our knowledgeable family law attorneys. Se habla Español.