Children witness family law: the use of child witnesses in Snogomish County, Washington

Jane Doe – fictional divorce, the position of which will sound familiar to most lawyers. Her husband, John Doe, repeatedly and categorically lied to get the main housing assistance young daughters Jane. He argued that most cooks daughters & # 39; food, wash clothes, read them … fabricated the list went on and on. Few witnesses would contradict him, as he maintained a convincing facade of something & # 39; and and friends. The only third party witnesses who knew the truth were his daughter and lawyer Jane Doe refused to offer young women & # 39; readings. Her lawyer said that evidence from "children are usually not allowed."

Jane Doe, like many parents, who are divorced, could lose custody because her lawyer was not aware of the recent legal developments that open the door to the children's certificates. In 2010, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington against SJW, 170 Wn.2d 92, it was found that children are supposed to have the right to give evidence. As the Court wrote: "A six year old child … may be more competent to testify, than an adult in a particular case: none of the court should not assume that the child incompetent to give evidence only on the age … [W] e believe that the courts We must believe that all the witnesses have the right to testify, regardless of age. " The Court emphasized his opinion comparable federal law.

At a seminar on the fact of family law, which continues to legal education in Snohomish County, commentator Carl Tegland said that witnesses who have reached the age of four, as a rule, are experiencing problems with competence in Washington. Member of the audience sympathy expressed that none of the family law of Snohomish County "authorized attorney not leave with dignity shares" if the lawyer will try to make a declaration of this age child. Other participants shared the reservations of members of vocal audience about the testimony of children. Obvious problems associated with the practice of public policy and give local courts and practitioners reasonable grounds to avoid the testimony of children, especially in judicial proceedings in family law, where the parties present evidence in the declaration.

However, it SJW, the federal law and the comment Teglanda believe that the intended meaning of children's testimony overcomes many of these problems in other areas and jurisdictions. Eric Johnson, Utah lawyer, wrote that the protection of children fat, which he holds: "The real reason why people do not want to have deprived children … it is because the children because of his youth and therefore, inexperienced and naive, we have much more difficult to be reasonable and vhilyalnymi People who do not want their children were dropped because the evidence of the child often has a real evidential value, which is detrimental to the cause of those who object to a child and # 39;. th deposition. "

In the best case and the worst case, attempted to testify to younger children go. Divorce attorneys in the county Snogomish and throughout the state of Washington to be prepared.

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