You are involved in a custody case in court. You know what one of the factors the court must consider in determining custody and visitation is the preference of the child, if the child is “of reasonable intelligence, understanding, age and experience to express such a preference.”
You believe the children have definite opinions that they want to live with you. You want the children to express their preferences to the judge. The preference of the child may be a factor that the court should consider in determining custody.
So, Is it a good idea to have your children come to court either testify or talk to the judge in his or her office?
This is not a good idea. Judges do not like having children come to court. Often, the party who brings the child to court will get reprimanded by the judge and perceived as using the child, putting the child in a traumatic situation, placing the child in the middle of the custody battle, and exposing him or her to the parent’s custody trial and court proceedings. Children should be shielded from the proceedings. They should not know what is going on in the court. The should live their live. If they have school or activities, that is where they belong, not in a courtroom.
Bring kids to court can have severe psychological consequences to the child and provide a memory they will never forget or recover from. The child may not say that the child has told the parent. Often, children are diplomatic and will try to be neutral and will not express an opinion. The children will understandably be anxious and nervous. The child may use language that sounds like a parent has coached him or her what to tell the judge.