Children are, indeed, a part of a family and their voices can be used to influence the eventual structure of that family after the divorce. In Illinois, parents, children and the court system in general are loathe to involve children to the point where they provide testimony. This is generally acknowledged as traumatizing at worst and superfluous at best. Testimony is just in front of a judge. There are no juries in Illinois domestic relations courts. This exception is only made for the benefit of the best interests of the children.
In Illinois domestic courts, hearsay of a child is only allowed in situations where there have been allegations of abuse. Specifically, the law states. No such statement, however, if uncorroborated and not subject to cross-examination, shall be sufficient in itself to support a finding of abuse or neglect.
Courts have expressly allowed this hearsay standard stating that it was applicable to situations when a parent is accused of abuse and matters of visitation and, by extension, custody are at issue. If we cannot meet this hearsay standard, the courts may require that the child testify in a non-public hearing.
But, this merely means that everyone except the parents would be removed from the court room. Counsel shall be present at the interview unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties.
The entire interview shall be recorded by a court reporter. The transcript of the interview shall be filed under seal and released only upon order of the court. While the lawyers for both sides are present, they rarely say anything at all. In lieu of bringing the children to court at all, the court may appoint an evaluator to investigate the situation, interview the child and report back to the court.
The court can appoint this evaluator or either party can petition for an evaluator obviously of their choosing Pursuant to ILCS A description of the procedures employed during the evaluation; a report of the data collected; all test results; any conclusions of the evaluator relating to the allocation of parental responsibilities under Sections Knight began exclusively practicing family law in Russell Knight much prefers to do one thing, Family Law, and do it well.
Russell Knight still, however, uses a great deal of his general knowledge of Criminal, Immigration and Bankruptcy Law in his Family Law practice. Russell Knight enjoys learning new languages, running, and cooking in his spare time.