Helping Texans with a variety of family law cases, including child custody and divorce.

Child Testimony in Family Law Cases: Navigating a Dicey Decision

by | Dec 3, 2023 | Firm News

At The Beveridge Law Firm, PLLC, we understand the emotional complexities that arise in child custody disputes. Our commitment is to guide non-custodial parents, particularly fathers and husbands, through the legal intricacies, focusing on achieving equal access to their children. This post sheds light on child testimony in family law cases, offering insights into the process and considerations involved.

How is a child called to court?

When it becomes necessary to call a child to testify, our experienced legal team recommends notifying the judge in advance. Typically, subpoenas are served to the parent of the child, outlining the provisions and ensuring a smooth process for the child to appear in court. For those navigating the family law courts in Brazoria and Galveston counties, including the 461st and 300th district courts with Presiding Judges Bulanek and Bradshaw, respectively, our firm provides tailored support.

Is the child competent?

Child competency is a critical aspect of testimony. Texas Rules of Evidence 601 establishes criteria, and the burden of proof lies with the party claiming the child is not competent. Our firm has successfully handled such matters, ensuring our clients’ rights are protected.

Preparing the child for testimony

Child preparation is a key element of the legal process. The Beveridge Law Firm, PLLC, recommends starting the preparation weeks before the trial. We take the initiative to familiarize the child with the courtroom, explain the steps of the process, and ensure they are comfortable. Our focus is on minimizing stress and anxiety, with the possibility of utilizing screens or allowing counselor accompaniment.

Does the child testify live in court?

The Texas Family Code, Section 153.009, allows for in-chamber interviews with the judge for children aged 12 or older. Our firm has successfully navigated these procedures, ensuring the child’s best interests are considered. Additionally, alternative methods, such as videotaped statements or testimony via close-circuit television, are explored based on the unique circumstances of each case.

Child Testimony in Child Custody Cases: A Beveridge Law Firm Perspective

In Brazoria and Galveston counties, our firm, led by founder and owner Ben Beveridge, provides dedicated legal representation. With a passion for ensuring parents’ equal access to their children, Ben Beveridge shares a personal journey from being a non-custodial parent to obtaining equal access after law school. His commitment to advocating for parents’ rights extends to legislative efforts for new laws promoting equal access.

For those in need of legal support in Brazoria and Galveston counties, including the cities of Alvin and beyond, The Beveridge Law Firm, PLLC, is here to help. To schedule a consultation, call our office at 281-407-0961 or submit your information at https://www.beveridgelawfirm.com/contact/. Our team is ready to assist you in navigating child testimony and custody decisions while prioritizing the best interests of your child.