Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Can Anyone Provide Proof that Questioning Children as Witnesses Is Inherently Traumatic?

Children are rarely indispensable witnesses in family law cases (but because I use the term “rarely” that denotes that there are in fact times when a child is in fact an indispensable witness). Children are often, however, extremely helpful witnesses for both litigants and the courts. I know because I have deposed children (yes, it can be done).

But you’d be hard-pressed to convince courts in family law cases that a child should be questioned in the discovery process. The e-mail exchange cited below is a real e-mail exchange between opposing counsel and me. Names have been changed to protect the attorney’s and the parties’ respective identities. This exchange distills much of the argument (if you can call it an argument) over child witnesses in family law cases. You tell me who has the better position.