Can I have witnesses testify in my custody trial? Yes! This blog explains this answer and provides some information regarding witnesses in a child custody trial. Like all of our blogs, this blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.
Child Custody Trial
It is quite common for a custody dispute to progress to the point of a custody trial. In a child custody trial, each party has an opportunity to present evidence. This evidence may come in the form of documents, videos, pictures, witnesses, etc.
How do I get a witness to testify?
Typically, you file a subpoena and serve it on the witness. This subpoena requires the witness to come to court at a certain date and time. Failure to comply with a subpoena is a violation of law and could result in criminal liability.
What is the purpose of a witness?
The purpose of a witness is to present evidence. The witness provides testimony (see below). Generally, a witness is a character witness, a fact witness, or an expert witness.
What is testimony?
Testimony is evidence. You can click here to read about testimony as evidence in criminal cases The same principles apply to testimony as evidence in the family law context.
What types of things do witnesses typically testify to?
In a child custody trial, witnesses may testify to a wide variety of subjects, so long as they are relevant to the best interest of the child determination. The list is relatively unlimited, but some examples include:
- The fitness (or lack of fitness) of the parent
- The truthfulness or trustworthiness of the parent
- The home environment and stability of the home
- The financial stability of the parent
- The relationship between the parent and the child
- The parent’s involvement in the child’s life
- The parents’ and child’s support systems
- The parents’ ability to co-parent
- Drug or alcohol issues
- Mental health issues
- Parenting styles
- Past behavior
Can/will my child testify in my child custody trial?
We wrote a blog on this topic here.
Will I testify in my child custody trial?
Yes. You will typically be a witness and testify in your child custody trial. Both parents typically take the stand. Further, because family law is civil rather than criminal, the opposing party could force a parent to take the witness stand.
Can I have witnesses in other family law trials?
Yes. You can subpoena witnesses to testify in other types of family law trials, such as alimony or child support. The same explanation used throughout this blog applies to other types of family law cases.
If you are in need of a family law attorney in Charlotte, NC or the surrounding area, contact us for more information.