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My witness in divorce case is my child (so my ex's step-child), is a 15 yr old allowed to accompany me to a hearing for RFO?

Fountain Valley, CA |

I was told to have witnesses to events/facts write a statement but should I also have my family members (daughter 15, and my mother) attend the RFO for support with me? I don't know if its appropriate for a child to be with me? They both can testify to many details that the opposing party lied about.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. I advise against including your child in this legal proceeding; especially if this is just about money. Trust your gut - you really want a 15 year-old subject to cross-examination? d how will a judge perceive the willingness of a parent to do so? Better to shield your child from the hostility and conflict.


  2. The court is allowed to talk to the children in chambers (outside of the presence of the attorneys) in particular cases where the child is involved in a custody dispute. Normally, children are not allowed in the courtroom in family law cases. If the child is not part of the custody battle but is only a witness, then there is no reason why he/she can't testify. However, cross-examination could be brutal to the child.

    OSCAR E. TOSCANO
    Los Angeles Family Law Lawyer

    I am licensed to practice in the state of California. I handle cases from Sacramento to San Diego. I have handled cases in Federal District courts from Alaska and throughout the United States. My comments and opinions are based on California law and are based on the limited information provided in the question. Legal questions are usually fact specific and a few facts can and often does change the opinion I would give. It is better to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction (your geographic area) and provide specific details regarding your case in private. You would get more specific advice. The contents of the conversations with your attorney are confidential and are protected from being revealed. The statements made in this public forum (AVVO) are not confidential and could be revealed. Therefore, you must be very careful in the details you provide. Do not disclose information that could be a crime or that could be used in order to prove a crime was committed. If you are in California and want to clarify any of my answers, feel free to contact me.


  3. Until recently family court seldon took testimony. Both time and funds are in short supply. Lying is common.

    More witnesses will not change the outcome. More acrimony will live on, and on, and on...

    Ms. Straus (aka Carroll) may be reached at 800-400-8978 during regular business hours, Pacific Time, or anytime by email at: ECSEsquire@AOL.com. All of Ms. Straus’ responses to questions posted on Avvo are intended as helpful information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are not to be relied upon as a final legal opinion. It may not be what you wished to hear, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Straus is licensed to practice law in California. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state, and retain him or her. Me Straus provides “unbundled” services if you need specific assistance with a specific issue.

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