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New California Law Allows Children to Testify Regarding Custody and Visitation in Divorce Cases

When the calendar turns to a new year, it’s typical for several new laws to take effect and to begin having a substantial effect on different types of legal matters.  Divorce is certainly a type of legal matter that is subject to legal changes from time to time, and 2012 will usher in a change in the way that divorce cases can be managed in such a way that it could alter the landscape of how contested issues such as child custody and child visitation are handled.

Beginning this year, a change in the laws that deal with divorce in California will allow children to testify regarding the issues of child custody and child visitation.  Specifically, the child’s age and capacity to reason must be sufficient such that his or her testimony will be relevant.  In addition, a child who is 14 years old or older may address the court directly.  To date, the ability of children to take part in these proceedings was limited.

Even though children will now be able to address a court in this manner, the situation will still be closely controlled and managed by the court.  However, many expect this change to add a substantial degree of complication to these proceedings, as it could give rise to a temptation by one parent or both to manipulate the children into testifying in a certain way.  The overriding standard to be used by California courts in deciding these issues remains the best interests of the child or children involved.

San Diego Child Custody Lawyers

Clearly, any father who faces a contested child custody or child support issue faces a difficult challenge for many reasons.  Fathers who are in this position need to take immediate action to make sure that they are doing everything possible to build a strong case.  This undertaking should occur with the help of experienced professionals.

If you are facing this legal battle, you need to seek the help of San Diego child custody lawyers who have been fighting for the rights of fathers and husbands for many years.  Contact the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation.