We are open for business and offering phone and video consultations during business hours.

Free Initial Consultations

With offices in Naperville, Joliet, Wheaton, Plainfield & Chicago
Livas Law Group

Will My Child Have to Testify in Court During My Child Custody Dispute?

Posted on in Child Custody

DuPage County family law lawyerIf you are a parent getting divorced, you probably spend a lot of time worrying about how the divorce will affect your kids. Divorce brings about massive changes to a child’s home, family, and daily life. Some children struggle to cope with these changes. Fortunately, Illinois law reflects the fact that divorce is hard on children, and policies have been instituted to minimize the trauma of divorce as much as possible. This is one reason that children are not typically asked to testify in court during child custody cases or other family law issues. However, your child may be asked to participate in the case in other ways.

The Court May Consider the Child’s Preferences

Illinois courts make every child-related decision with one key priority in mind: ensuring that the child is safe and well cared for. Consequently, child custody decisions are always made with the child’s best interests in mind. However, courts do often take children’s preferences into consideration during family law cases. The child’s statements will not determine the outcome of the case, but they may influence the court’s opinion.

Child Interviews in an Illinois Divorce or Child Custody Case

If the court wishes to learn more about a child’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions during a family law case, the court may use several different legal avenues to gather this information. In many child custody cases, a guardian ad litem is assigned to gather information about the facts of the case. As part of their investigation, the guardian ad litem (GAL) may visit the parents’ homes and interview the child. The GAL may ask the child about the types of activities they like to do with each parent and other questions designed to learn more about the child’s home life. The GAL may also inquire about household rules, discipline, homework, and daily routines.  This information is then organized into a report and submitted to the court.

Another way that the court may gather input from a child is through an informal conversation between the child and the judge presiding over the case. If the judge wants to talk to the child, they will meet with the child and the parents’ respective attorneys in the judge’s chambers. The child’s answers and statements are transcribed by a court reporter. The transcription may be used during the proceedings in lieu of the child’s in-person testimony.

Contact a Wheaton Child Custody Lawyer

At Davi Law Group, we know that divorce involving children can be hard on everyone. Our DuPage County family law attorneys are committed to providing trustworthy legal guidance and tenacious advocacy during your child custody dispute. Call us at 630-580-6373 for a free consultation.




Back to Top