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. Except in rare circumstances, judges will interview these children outside their parents’ presence. Witnesses in any case help develop the claims and allegations before the Judge. 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. When and how often? Are there any changes in his work habits during these times? Primarily, a judge's main concern is the best interests of the 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. Some questions can establish how involved your ex is with your child’s daily routine. Who takes your child to school or to the bus stop? Below, we discuss some of our readers' most common questions. She filed for custody and I sent back the questionnaire but divorce papers still have not been filed yet. Child Custody Trials in California: Go In Prepared A trial is like an extended, more formal version of a hearing.Both parties have the opportunity to explore all of their evidence and question witnesses in front of the judge so he or she If you are contesting child custody in your divorce case, your spouse's divorce lawyer may ask you questions during a deposition. Non-expert witnesses include: child’s teacher, doctor, daycare provider, neighbor, or the parents of a child’s friends, can be called when a court is considering child custody. Before Information about cross-examining witnesses if you go to Supreme Court without a lawyer, plus sample questions to ask. Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. One of your greatest challenges is gathering witnesses that can be used to your advantage in court to testify how great of a dad you really are. A. 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. • In a child custody deposition, your ex-spouse’s lawyer will ask you questions, and your lawyer will ask your ex-spouse questions. You can prepare by drafting a list of questions and then doing a practice run with your witness. When considering the custody of the child, plans for a new school, new home, or new adults in the household may be considered. If you’re not working with a lawyer for some reason, make sure you’ve adequately interviewed your witnesses before they take the witness stand so you’re absolutely sure what they're going to say. They’re going to tell you and the court that he’s a perfect parent. An expert witness will offer evidence that the child is in need of one of the parents’ attention and care in Educate yourself on court rules and procedures before you attempt to represent yourself in custody court. At a temporary hearing, a witness is more likely to provide testimony by affidavit, which is a written, sworn statement. Which parent typically calls in for assistance when there’s a health problem? Questions to Ask a Lawyer About Child Custody Answered All of the questions to ask a lawyer about child custody are crucial to preparing for the custody proceedings. 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. Your client's motivation for seeking custody will also help you to determine how serious he or she is about going to trial and whether or not any possibility They'll ask you questions that they think will get you to say something that helps their case more than it helps yours. They can also be complex, and the way that they are decided varies from each state and region. Who will care for the children when you’re at work if they’re not in school? What are the names of your child’s best friends? Contrary to what you may think, the court does not prefer to determine who gets custody of a child. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough as you read the following categories to fully list examples of past and present, with dates. He may be contacted at Michael G. Brock, Counseling and Evaluation Services, 2514 Biddle, Wyandotte, 48192; (313) 802 Don’t let yourself lose your temper, even when you know that his mother or brother is blatantly lying. After the attorney for the plaintiff or petitioner in a child custody case finishes their direct examination, the attorney for the defendant or respondent will be able to cross-examine the witness. Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. 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. Hiring a custody attorney could mean the difference between winning your custody case and losing your case. Lawyers spend years in school and at practice refining the art of questioning witnesses. The majority of his practice in recent years relates to custody issues and allegations of child abuse. Time Past, Present and Future with Children 1. Travis earned his J.D. What’s his favorite thing to do on weekends. When you are facing a child custody issue, you may have a lot of questions. These questions take on a particular significance when deciding whether to call a child’s therapist as a witness in a custody dispute. The best witnesses are neutral witnesses that have knowledge regarding the children and the parties. Each witness should understand the importance of testimony in a child custody case and be prepared to testify in a logical, organized manner. Again, they might be somewhat biased, and the judge probably expects this. In a child custody dispute, both parties have very different claims and interpretations of events and parenting styles. Who typically signs off on homework assignments and other notices? Simply say "I don't understand your question For example, they can’t say, “Sally Smith told me that…”. 2 The reasons why your client wants custody is really the theory of your case. Witnesses are critical in every custody case. Please enable Cookies and reload the page. You can use them to try to dispute some or all of the answers your ex has given, but his family is almost certainly going to agree with everything he's said, whether it’s true or not. You might want to look into legal aid or pro bono services if your budget isn’t such that you can afford an attorney. Consider asking and establishing how often these people see your child with you, and how often she’s with his other parent. Many parents take a case to trial based on hearing what they want to hear from their youngster. Do you work any overtime? See Sample questions to ask when cross-examining witnesses at a Supreme Court trial to find out more about cross-examination. Talk … Can you leave work if your child is sick or otherwise needs you? Who oversees homework and school projects? 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. You should always begin each question with a distinct qualifier, such as who, what, where, when or how. At a trial for the final determination of custody, you and the And never ask questions that you don’t already know the answer to. Cloudflare Ray ID: 60e9cd62ead1cec8 Some questions you might ask your ex could focus on who has historically been your child’s primary caregiver. 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. You’ve heard it said in courtroom TV dramas a hundred times, and it’s true. There’s an art to asking questions to elicit great expert testimony in custody court. Ask leading questions In your questioning, move from general to specific. These people can often provide some useful information to the court, and they’re likely to be more impartial than friends, family members and neighbors – something judges tend to appreciate. What time do you leave for work in the morning, and what time do your children go to school? 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. Child custody cases can be some of the most contentious. Answer questions completely, be honest and try to remain calm. Court operations during COVID-19 Because of COVID-19, many conferences, hearings, and proceedings are • An approach that works with one witness might be disastrous with another. But avoid using them as character witnesses. You can use these witnesses to try to establish how hands-on your ex is with your child’s life. 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. If you absolutely can't hire an attorney, narrow your questions to information that will show the judge what's in the best interests of your child. In this case, you can certainly request that the attorney repeat the question. What does he want to be when he grows up? If you know what to expect, then you won’t be surprised, and you’ll be able to better understand the … There’s an art to eliciting great expert testimony, and you have to know the right questions to ask. 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. You can almost always get free or discounted legal help if your income is limited. Questioning witnesses in open court is not something the average parent excels at, and you might not want to do it on your own. These sample questions are guidelines, nothing more, and every witness and situation is different. Consider Enlisting the Help of an Attorney. No need to navigate the legal waters alone, Law for Families is here to help! Does your child behave any differently when he’s been with one parent or the other? The Relationship of the Parents Finally, courts may ask questions regarding how the parents relate Your IP: 192.138.189.181 Your approach to asking Versus character witnesses, it is often wise to think about fact witnesses that might have something important to say. 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. Consider asking for help if you don’t have the same level of experience, particularly if your ex is using a lawyer. What size clothing does your child currently wear? Questions to Ask in a Child Custody Case How do the courts determine who gets custody? However, the cross-examining divorce attorney or child custody lawyer may ask leading questions that the examining lawyer was prohibited from asking. To determine how to deal with a child custody case, a judge will usually ask certain questions to gather information about the case … Who volunteers to chaperone school events? What happens when a child is called to court to testify. If you do decide to question your ex’s family members, remain polite. any custody case. In a child custody hearing or trial, witnesses often provide the judge with additional information or clarify legal issues raised by the parents. Beverly Bird is a practicing paralegal who has been writing professionally on legal subjects for over 30 years. Mentioned ahead are a few child custody-related questions you should ask your divorce attorney to be well-informed. Use simple language Listen to the answers given and note important ones Treat the witness with respect Ask only one question at a time. Below is … When you have legal custody of your child, you’re entitled to make decisions on behalf of your child. Judges often lean toward continuing that status quo. The challenge in child custody cases is to get important information to the judge while following all court rules. 1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Michigan on Sep 23, 2020 Q: I want to win my divorce and custody case between me and my wife. Be clear and brief. Most states have lists of “best interests” factors that judges are supposed to consider when making custody decisions, so take the time to learn what they are in your area before you head into court. Questioning Teachers, Physicians, Coaches and Other Adults. Ask teachers which parent typically attends conferences and other school activities. If you are representing yourself in court, then you need to prepare to ask witnesses questions. What to ask depends on what facts you want each of these people to talk about relevant to the child custody issue. It is important to think through what your lawyer will ask your spouse well in advance so you cover Others questions might try to establish how much time your ex has available to care for your child. Family members aren't always the best witnesses. I assume from your question that you are representing yourself and calling these witnesses to help your case. One important best-interests factor is almost universal from state to state. 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