Familiarity breeds…Comfort, at least in Court.
One thing a potential litigant should do, as best they can, is Know the Layout of the Court; where to sit, where the Judge sits, where the attorneys will be, where to look when testifying, etc.
A great thing to do prior to any Child Testimony, be it in the Courtroom or Chambers, is let that child know all of the above and how the Judge will treat them respectfully and require the attorneys to do the same.
I had a case where one parent decided to call the child to testify to help “prove the case.” It was not something the child wanted or the other parent wanted, nor something the “proof” required. It was a tactic, I believe, to scare the other parent. However, knowing the Court and how this particular Judge handled child testimony made all the difference. When it came time for the child to testify, it went as smoothly as possible and the Judge determined that the child was safe, well-adjusted, smart and that no modification was warranted.
The child testifying, in fact, backfired on the parent calling the child. Afterwards, my client shared with me that the prep work we did and the schematic that was sketched out showing the Courtroom and Judge’s Chambers had a calming effect and made a difference.
Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody Lawyer in Mississippi and believes that preparation is critical for success.
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You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms.