At what age?

Custody never goes straight to a judge. First there is mediation, unless for some reason mediation is waived. The counselor would interview you both and your children and write up a recommendation which would be sent to you and your attorneys. This recommendation would include a suggested schedule of custody based on the “best interest” of/for the child. Your attorneys will try and get you to reach some sort of compromise, taking into consideration that recommendation. If you cannot reach a compromise then it goes in front of a judge and the judge may or may not take into consideration the recommendation.

Thank you mal.
This is very helpful.

Most of the time the child is not brought into court. In the event that they are brought before a judge it would not be in open court, but in the judge’s chambers. This would probably only happen if there is a DSS investigation or other serious issues that involve the child. Also, there is no certain age. If a child were to be asked for their preference they would need to be old enough to understand the situation, and able to tell the judge why they have that preference. Reasons such as, “Dad makes me clean my room so I want to live at mom’s”, or “Dad let’s me stay up later so I want to live with him”, won’t work.

There is no age at which a child will be expected to testify. I generally do not call children as witnesses unless what they have to tell the judge is absolutely vital and there is no other way to convey that information to the Judge. In all my years of practice, this has only been necessary on one occasion. Unless there are some serious issues in your case, you should expect that your child probably will not be needed to testify.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

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Main Phone: (704)307.4600
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As a follow up to my previous question regarding custody, at what age would a court/judge ask/expect children to “testify” (I realize it may be an interview situation but don’t know how else to say this) regarding what the living situation is, and where they would like to live?

Thanks in Advance,