“Well, let’s just ask little Johnny what he wants!”
“[P]arents in a divorce proceeding should if at all possible refrain from calling any of the children of their marriage…as witnesses, and counsel should advise their clients against doing so except in the most exigent cases.” Jethrow v. Jethrow, 571 So.2d 270, 274 (Miss. 1990).“
The Mississippi Supreme Court added that the reason and wisdom for this precaution needed no amplification as to why you should not compel your child to testify if it can be avoided.
The potential for emotional trauma is a given. But, another unstated reason a la Forrest Gump, “you never know what you are gonna get.“
In a particularly acrimonious custody case, the mother insisted on calling the 6 year old daughter to testify. She wanted her to say she wanted to live with mom. Mom had recently redecorated her room in pink and butterflies. However, when questioned she responded as follows;
Court: If you had a magic wand and you could wave it and live wherever you wanted, where would that be?
Child: A Castle!
Not mom’s, not dad’s, but a castle.
Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody Attorney in Mississippi and would also like to live in a castle.
Follow the blog: #BowTieLawyer . You may also contact Matthew with your family law case or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms