Will a Family Judge Allow a Child to Testify in Maplewood Custody and Placement Proceedings?

In family courts, divorcing parents may not agree on the physical placement of their children after the separation. In Maplewood, the court must take into account some factors to determine what is in a child’s best interest as they decide child custody and placement. One factor is the wishes of the child. Usually, such wishes are included in the recommendation of the Guardian ad Litem. Thus, this can result in concerns regarding whether the child has a choice or voice in the proceedings as well as their ability to meet with the family judge. You can learn more here whether a child can testify in child custody cases. 

When a Guardian ad Litem Can Be Appointed

There are a lot of concerns with disclosing the wishes of a child for placement. Kids are not small adults and they cannot always know what’s best for them, no matter how mature they are.  That is the reason a Guardian ad Litem is appointed.  This appointee should investigate what is in the best interest of the child. Also, they should protect the child from being in the middle of the custody and placement disputes of their parents. 

Pressuring kids into making a decision and choosing between their parents can be harmful to them. Also, this can leave the child dealing with pressure from an unsatisfied parent. Because of this, a judge may not meet with the kid or have them testify in court for their placement wishes. 

Children Don’t Make Custody Decisions

In Wisconsin, a child doesn’t decide on the parent to live with and the amount of time they will spend with every parent. A family court must at least hear the wishes of the child but they also consider different statutory factors. Thus, the child’s wishes often play a minor role in the court’s decision. Because of this, any statements from a child in custody placement proceedings may only have limited value. 

If you are in a contentious child custody and placement battle, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to understand your rights and options. As a parent, you must decide how to restructure your family to best meet your kids’ needs during and after your divorce. You must decide on physical placement, legal custody, and child support to make sure the needs of your children are met. If you and your spouse cannot agree on such issues, guardian ad litem can be appointed by a judge to help them make placement, custody, and child support decisions. 

Joseph Greer

Joseph Greer