Jane Doe is often a fictional divorcée whose plight will sound familiar to most divorce attorneys. Her husband, John Doe, experienced consistently Law Offices of J. Scott Bennett – Riverside Divorce Attorney | Family… and flatly lied in attaining Most important residential care of Jane’s young daughters. He claimed to cook nearly all of their daughters’ meals, wash their outfits, browse to them… the fabricated list went on and on. Several witnesses could contradict him mainly because he maintained a convincing façade for family and friends. The only third-party witnesses who realized the reality had been the functions’ daughters, and Jane Doe’s legal professional declined to offer the young women’ testimony. Her attorney stated testimony from “Little ones is normally inadmissible.”
Jane Doe, like lots of divorcing mothers and fathers, could have misplaced custody due to the fact her lawyer was unaware of recent legal developments opening the doorway for child testimony. In 2010 the Washington Supreme Court’s opinion in State v. S.J.W., a hundred and seventy Wn.second ninety two clarified that kids are presumptively proficient to testify. Given that the Court wrote: “A 6-year-aged kid… can be more qualified to testify https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/?search=divorce attorney than an adult inside of a specified scenario; no court really should presume a child is incompetent to testify centered on age alone… [W]e maintain that courts need to presume all witnesses are knowledgeable to testify regardless of their age.” The Courtroom buttressed its impression with equivalent federal legislation.
At a 2011 Household Law Evidence Continuing Lawful Education Seminar in Snohomish http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch/?action=click&contentCollection®ion=TopBar&WT.nav=searchWidget&module=SearchSubmit&pgtype=Homepage#/divorce attorney County, commentator Karl Tegland said witnesses above the age of 4 are likely to outlive competency problems in Washington. An audience member responsively chortled that no Snohomish County household legislation “commissioner would leave a legal professional with a shred of dignity” If your lawyer tried to submit a declaration from a kid that age. Other attendees shared the vocal viewers member’s reservations about baby testimony. Apparent simple and public plan fears have offered regional courts and practitioners good rationale to stop youngster testimony, especially in relatives law hearings wherever parties post evidence by declaration.
Nevertheless, the S.J.W. case, federal legislation, and Tegland’s comment advise the perceived value of baby testimony is overcoming a lot of All those considerations in other venues and jurisdictions. Eric Johnson, a Utah lawyer, wrote the next in protection of the child depositions he conducts: “The true cause individuals don’t desire young children deposed… is mainly because young children, by their virtue of becoming young, and so inexperienced and naïve, Have got a large amount more durable time staying intelligent and evasive. People who don’t want youngsters deposed item mainly because a child’s testimony fairly often has real evidentiary value that is certainly damaging to the situation of individuals who item to the child’s deposition.”
For superior or even worse, attempts to provide the testimony of youthful little ones are coming. Divorce attorneys in Snohomish County and during Washington Point out need to be ready.