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Who may testify in a child custody case?

Because child custody is a hot button topic in many divorces, you may wonder what your case will be like when you go before the court. In particular, you may wonder if the court will involve other people who will tell the court about your abilities as a parent. 

In determining custody matters, the court will consider the spiritual, mental, physical and moral well-being of the child. The Hawaii State Legislature states the goal for the court is to allow the child to maintain a meaningful relationship with you and his or her other parent, along with allowing for other family relationships with siblings and other relatives. To ensure it makes the right decision, the court does often calls upon outside parties to testify. You do have the right to cross-examine any witness the court may call upon. 

The court’s witnesses 

The court may request professionals, such as counselors and human service workers, to investigate and testify in a case if it feels there is a need. An investigation will help uncover any concerns about your child’s care. 

The court may also allow the testimony of any other person who has an interest in the case or who has direct knowledge about the care of your child. 

It is possible for the court to appoint your child a guardian ad litem who will represent your child in court. This person may also report to the court any concerns. 

Your child 

Your child can testify to the court about what he or she wants if the court feels he or she is able to make an intelligent preference.