A few years ago, my ex and I wound up in custody court over our youngest child, then in elementary school. We have an older son, one who was at that time in high school in a boarding school.
For reasons I would rather not discuss in a public forum, the chances of the judge deciding at a temp custody hearing in my favor were probably nonexistent. I was ordered to have a psychological evaluation, and temp custody was awarded to my ex, with permanent hearing scheduled for nine months later. I was pro se; my ex had a well known local lawyer.
Here’s my question:
When I showed up at his lawyer’s office before the temp hearing, when that lawyer realized I was not there to sign over custody, he went to another room and acme out with an affidavit which he then placed in front of me.
The affidavit was written by my teenage son, and it was loaded with blatantly false statements. it was properly notarized and the lawyer told me that unless I would give up custody of my younger child, he would submit this affidavit in court the following week. And he did just that.
That affidavit caused me an unbelievable amount of emotional trauma, and my son has suffered too. At that time, he was a frightened teenager, and the money for his education was coming from his father’s family. until the big event that started the custody proceedings for my younger child, my son and I had enjoyed a very warm and close relationship.
After the affidavit was read aloud in court, causing me even more emotional trauma, it was five, long years before I heard from my son again.
today, I hear from him almost every day, and of course I’'m very glad for that. HOWEVER, my son has tremendous problems with anxiety, and he absolutely refuses to discuss the custody case at all. I’ve seen mental health professionals since that time (bout 5years now), and I believe my son was also deeply traumatized bt that affidavit–thAt he was coerced into writing it and that it has hurt him terribly. He ws never the type to lie for anyone. (He till isn’t.)
I was told by a lawyer around the time of those hearings that the judge “was not supposed to accept an affidavit from a minor.”
Is this true? Ive searched everywhere online, and I cannot find the answer. Depending on what the answer is, I might try to rectify this situation even at this late date by seeking damages. I don’t think the lawyer should have asked or accepted it, nor do I think the judge should have accepted it or used it. Am I wrong?
If I’m right, what might I possibly be able to do? My therapist said it could be a violation of HIPPA rights.