Jane Doe is often a fictional divorcée whose plight will seem acquainted to most divorce Lawyers. Her husband, John Doe, had consistently and flatly lied in getting Main household treatment of Jane’s youthful daughters. He claimed to Cook dinner nearly all their daughters’ meals, wash their clothing, read to them… http://jscottbennettattorney.com the fabricated list went on and on. Several witnesses could contradict him since he maintained a convincing façade for friends and family. The one third-bash witnesses who understood the truth were being the get-togethers’ daughters, and Jane Doe’s legal professional declined to offer the young girls’ testimony. Her attorney mentioned testimony from “Youngsters is usually inadmissible.”
Jane Doe, like lots of divorcing mom and dad, could possibly have misplaced custody for the reason that her lawyer was unaware of current authorized developments opening the door for kid testimony. In 2010 the Washington Supreme Court docket’s viewpoint in Point out v. S.J.W., a hundred and seventy Wn.2d 92 clarified that youngsters are presumptively capable to testify. Because the Courtroom wrote: “A 6-yr-aged boy or girl… can be much more competent to testify than an adult in a very offered case; no courtroom should really presume a baby is incompetent to testify based upon age alone… [W]e hold that courts ought to presume all witnesses are competent to testify irrespective of their age.” The Courtroom buttressed its impression with comparable federal law.
In a 2011 Family members Law Evidence Continuing Authorized Education and learning Seminar in Snohomish County, commentator Karl Tegland mentioned witnesses over the age of 4 have a https://www.washingtonpost.com/newssearch/?query=divorce attorney tendency to outlive competency challenges in Washington. An viewers member responsively chortled that no Snohomish County household regulation “commissioner would depart a legal professional which has a shred of dignity” if the attorney tried to submit a declaration from a baby that age. Other attendees shared the vocal viewers member’s reservations about boy or girl testimony. Apparent sensible and public policy concerns have provided community courts and practitioners very good motive to avoid child testimony, especially in family members law hearings in which events submit evidence by declaration.
However, the S.J.W. scenario, federal law, and Tegland’s comment propose the perceived worth of little one testimony is conquering lots of People issues in other venues and jurisdictions. Eric Johnson, a Utah legal professional, wrote the next in protection of the child depositions he conducts: “The real cause folks don’t desire small children deposed… is mainly because small children, by their advantage of currently being young, and therefore inexperienced and https://en.search.wordpress.com/?src=organic&q=divorce attorney naïve, Use a good deal more challenging time remaining intelligent and evasive. Folks who don’t need children deposed object simply because a Kid’s testimony quite generally has true evidentiary price that is certainly harming to the case of those that item to the kid’s deposition.”
For better or even worse, attempts to provide the testimony of young small children are coming. Divorce attorneys in Snohomish County and during Washington State must be well prepared.