SHOULD CHILDREN BE PERMITTED TO TESTIFY IN A CUSTODY CASE?
Self represented litigants in Florida occasionally come to court with a child in anticipation that the child will testify for them. However, there are specific prerequisites that must be followed under the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure before a party is permitted to bring a child to court to testify. It is not prudent for a party to bring a child to court unless authorized previously by court order. Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.407 applies to the testimony of children in Family Law Cases. It reads as follows:
(a) Prohibition. Unless otherwise provided by law or another rule of procedure, children who are witnesses, potential witnesses, or related to a family law case, are prohibited from being deposed or brought to a deposition, from being Family Law Rules of Procedure August 28, 2019 99 subpoenaed to appear at any family law proceeding, or from attending any family law proceedings without prior order of the court based on good cause shown.