Are there grounds for calling my 11-year-old child to the stand?
3 attorney answers
In CA, Family Code section 3042 governs this question. In essence, it states that if a child over the age of 14 wishes to express their preference regarding custody, the court must hear that preference; if a child under the age of 14 wishes to express their preference regarding custody, the court MAY hear it. However, how that preference gets before the court (whether by appointment of Minor's Counsel - that is, an attorney to represent the child, a custodial evaluation, a child interview, or calling the child to the stand to testify) varies county by county and judge by judge. There is no specific law or procedure for how a child's testimony regarding their custodial preferences gets before the court. You should consult with an attorney in your county who is familiar with your judge. Good luck.
Courts are reluctant to place the child in a position to chose one parent over the other is an open forum; a better approach is a court investigator (if available) or appointment of minor's counsel (which requires payment to MC).
I have changed the practice area to child custody. Your question sounds as if it pertains to a custody hearing.
Wishing you the best.
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