In deciding a parent’s custody or visitation request, the court may consider and give proper weight to the testimony of a child over 14 years old as to his or her wishes. Family Code Section 3042. The court may decline to accept the child’s testimony but must state the reasons for the denial on the records and must resort to other evidence in lieu of the child’s testimony. The court determines how to take the child’s testimony (i.e., in open court or in chamber) and must advise the child that his or her testimony will not be confidential. California Rules of Court, Rule 5.250 http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/cms/rules/index.cfm?title=five&linkid=rule5_250 governs children’s participation and testimony in family-law proceedings.
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****The opinion above is not intended to be legal advice and absolutely does not create any attorney-client relationship between its author and the readers. Please consult an attorney for information or advice specific to your legal issue.****
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