Most definitely. Witnesses are critical to the presentation to not just your, but any, custody case. In the event that you and the other parent are unable to settle the custody issue, each of you will be entitled to call witnesses to testify on your behalf. The court will use the testimony of these witnesses to determine the best interest of the child and how custody and timesharing should be decided.
Among the people you might consider as potential witnesses in your custody case are:
In considering which witnesses would best support your case, your attorney may consider the following:
- Family members
- Childcare providers
- Social workers
- Health care providers
- Clergy members
- Court appointed experts
You and your attorney should determine together which witnesses will best support your case. You can be of assistance by providing a list of possible witnesses with the answers to the above questions. You will also need to provide your attorney with names, addresses and telephone numbers of each witness so that the attorney can contact each person to properly vet and prepare the witness.
- Has the witness had an opportunity to observe you or the other parent with the child?
- How frequently? How recently?
- How long has the witness known you or the other parent?
- What is the relationship of the witness to the child and the parents?
- How valuable is the knowledge that this witness has?
- Does this witness have knowledge different from that of other witnesses?
- How credible and believable is the witness?
- Does the witness have a personal interest in the case?
- Is the witness available to testify?
- Is the witness able to clearly and succinctly testify in court?
- Does the witness have a personal bias or prejudice that might affect the testimony or impeach the witness?
Obviously, the parents to a custody case will often give conflicting testimony. In those situations, it is vital that you have supporting testimony from other witnesses to corroborate your case. It is also important that you hire a skilled family law attorney. If you have more questions, please contact the Alford Law Office.
Photo courtesy of Brad Shorr
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