Child as a witness

For a child custody case, if the non-custodial parent’s attorney sent a subpeona for the minor to testify, can that be stopped? Non-custodial parent has indicated under oath that they don’t want their child to testify. Primary custodial parent does not want the minor to testify. Minor child indicates they don’t want to go to court at all. Non-custodial parent’s attorney seems to just be employing bully tactics. After two months and delays at the courthouse, seems unreasonable that the child can’t even go to summer camp and will spend their whole summer on call waiting with dates scheduled and re-scheduled.

Yes, it’s possible for the minor child not to testify but generally a party can subpoena and call any witness they want. You can file a motion to quash the subpoena and/or to object to the minor child’s testimony.

Generally judges do not want to hear from a minor child that is the subject of a custody case unless the minor child is the only witness to an important set of events.

It is also possible for the minor child to testify in chambers with the judge instead of testifying on the witness stand as other witnesses would. This is generally handled more like a conversation instead of the formal questions and cross examinations.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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