Blog

Child as a Witness in a New Jersey Divorce?

One of the most difficult issues a family law attorney faces is when a child is a witness to, or has important information about, an issue in his or her parent’s divorce case. I have never had a child provide a certification to the court.  I also never called a child as a witness.  Even though there have been times I really could have benefited from his or her evidence. However, I decided that the best interests of a child must always prevail.  Thus, leaving the child out of the fray of litigation was paramount.

In a recent Appellate Division case, Lee v. Chandoha, a father sought to eliminate his child support obligation to the children’s mother. He reasoned that their children lived with him while they were home from college. To support his application, he attached sworn statements (affidavits) from his 22-year-old, and 20-year-old children.*

*The motion judge had declined to consider the affidavits even though the children were over the age of 18, finding such involvement in the parents’ litigation “inappropriate and not in their best interests.” The appellate court deferred to the motion judge’s discretion.

It is surprising that the court would not consider certifications of the children even though they were in college and close to the age of presumed self-sufficiency. However, it is an important reminder that children, regardless of their age, must be shielded and protected from being involved in their parents’ litigation.  Children have the right to, and deserve to, love both of their parents. To make them choose sides is detrimental to their best interests, and must be avoided at all costs. To do otherwise, is to proceed at your own peril.

Please contact me at jlawrence@lawlawfirm.com if you have questions about this post or any other family law matter.

Back to Blog
SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
Jeralyn Lawrence Interview by Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station – Part V

Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station’s host of Ask The Expert interviewed Jeralyn Lawrence, a New Jersey Divorce and Family Lawyer.   This is Part V of a five part series of transcripts from the radio interview with Jeralyn. Ask The Expert Host Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station Interview with Divorce…

Read More
Blog
Coping with the aftermath of your divorce

How to Move on After a Divorce The Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale is a tool used by mental health professionals to gauge the difficulty of a life event, and divorce is second on the scale only to the death of a spouse. Divorce attorneys and other professionals warn that divorce is an extremely traumatic process for…

Read More
Blog
Jeralyn Lawrence Interview by Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station – Part IV

Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station’s host of Ask The Expert interviewed Jeralyn Lawrence, a New Jersey Divorce and Family Law Attorney.   This is Part IV of a five part series of transcripts from the radio interview with Jeralyn. Ask The Expert Host Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station Interview with…

Read More
Blog
Jeralyn Lawrence Interview by Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station – Part III

Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station’s host of Ask The Expert interviewed Jeralyn Lawrence.  This is Part III of a five part series of transcripts from the radio interview with Jeralyn. Ask The Expert Host Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station Interview with Divorce and Family Law Attorney Jeralyn Lawrence –…

Read More
Blog
Divorce Counseling: The Good and the Bad

The Good and Bad of Divorce Counseling Family court systems favor combining divorce mediation and divorce therapy as it can be an effective way to solve problems and reach agreements with minimal involvement from judges. According to recent industry surveys, most divorce attorneys, mental health professionals, and social workers who specialize in divorce agree with…

Read More
Blog
Jeralyn Lawrence Interview by Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station – Part II

Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station’s host of Ask The Expert interviewed Divorce and Family Lawyer Jeralyn Lawrence.  This is Part II of a five part series of transcripts from the radio interview with Jeralyn. Ask The Expert Host Jessie Frees of WMTR 1250 AM Radio Station Interview with Divorce and Family Law…

Read More

Disclaimer and information can be found here, including links to descriptions and selection methodologies. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.