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2 Bumps

Court question

Are minors allowed to testify in court? What if they are not related to the family? The reason I ask, is I am about to head into a custody battle. And a battle it will be. And the reason I am asking if minors can testify is because these are the people who see how my kids' father treats them. If they could testify in my favor it would really help me because then it's not my word against his, it's coming from someone else completely. In Texas, a 12 year old child can decide who he/she wants to live with. So I am wondering, would they make the same exemption for a minor to testify? If anyone knows anything about this, please do tell. In case you are wondering: Yes, he has custody. No, I didn't do anything to lose them. They were not taken from me. I missed the hearing and custody defaulted to him. That's all. Yes, I have to pay child support and I do pay it. They deduct it from my checks automatically. Yes, I spend as much time as I can with my children. But they have recently begun telling me that their dad is mean. He throws things at them, yells at them, calls them names (maggot, dummy, stupid, etc.) He smacks them upside the head. He sits in his room after coming home from work and if one of the kids comes in there to say something to him or ask him something, he yells at them to go away. And my daughters' friends have seen ALL this stuff. They are fifteen and seventeen. And I am hoping that they could be called to testify. I want to take the kids away from him if this is how he is going to be treating them. He didn't used to treat them like this when they were younger and I don't know why he is doing this now, but it has got to stop. I tried calling the local office that handles the custody but they told me unless I have proof, there is nothing they can do about it. I want to call CPS on him, but I don't want to involve CPS as they tend to only make matters worse once they are involved. And here's the best part yet: their dad doesn't even have his own place! He still lives at MY mom's house. When we were together, and I wanted him to leave, she wouldn't make him, so I left. I did what I had to do to get out of a crappy situation and nobody did anything to help me get out of so I did what I had to do. And it has been seven years since we separated but he is still there. He recently started seeing this girl but she told him as long as we are still legally married she doesn't feel right about dating him. So he presented me with divorce papers. I was more than happy to sign them until I got to the part about custody, and he wants to retain full custody and leave everything as it is. Well I told him I wasn't in agreement with that and I don't want to sign it. And he refuses to change anything. Of course. Why should he? He gets almost $600 a month from me in CS, plus he doesn't have to worry about paying rent (he does give my mom something each month) or any of the other bills that he'd have to pay if he had his own place. My question is this: if they want me to prove that I can support myself in having my own place, while paying CS, why isn't he required to do the same??? Not once has he even made the effort to prove that he can provide for the children on his own. Why is he not being required to do so?? If he wants custody, even partial, he should have to prove that he is able to provide for and support the children independently from any other sources. Between the way he treats the kids, and his living situation, do you think that he has any chance of retaining full custody the way he has it now? I am going to ask for 50/50 custody. We live close enough together that the kids can go to the same schools they have been going to. They can still go to my mom's after school until one of us picks them up when we get off work. I want them to have one week with me, and one week with him. When they are with me, I will provide for them 100% of anything they need: shoes, clothes, medicine, food, whatever. When they are with him, he will provide 100% of anything they need. I see no reason why this arrangement would not work, yet he completely refuses to agree to this. The only reason being that he does not want to lose the CS payments he receives. He makes more than $2,000 a month! Where all that money goes, I have no idea.

What do you think of this arrangement?

I have read that even when there is 50/50 custody, one parent still has to pay CS to the other. That makes no sense at all. Why should either parent receive CS payments from the other, if they both have the children an equal amount of time???

Please no bashing. If you want to answer, keep it nice. If not, then please don't bother.

Thanks!

Answer Question
 
chavela_carlita

Asked by chavela_carlita at 5:09 AM on Jun. 29, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 12 (887 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • I am going through a similar scenario; nice to know I am not alone! My husband was awarded custody by default of my babies while I was in a Domestic Violence Shelter! I missed the court date and couldn't make it to court which was 64 miles away. I had to hand then over! I pay 690 a month in child support (they nailed me for back support for 6 months).


    That I am ware of minors under 18 can not testify; but sometimes they do make exceptions. I have called Cps so I have documented proof. Yes it has made things worse; but It still helps to know that are keeping a close eye on him.



    If you have joint custody and share visitation equally (every other week for example); then no one has to pay child support. I didn't have to.


    My husband lives with friends because he has shot his credit to the point where he can't get anything on in his name. And he is now facing eviction!

    Mom_Of_3_Angelz

    Answer by Mom_Of_3_Angelz at 5:48 AM on Jun. 29, 2011

  • I am about to go to court myself for all this; so best of luck to you1 I hope everything turns out for you in the end. keep a diary of everything your kids and these minors say to you. Write down the date and time and show this to your lawyer.
    Mom_Of_3_Angelz

    Answer by Mom_Of_3_Angelz at 5:49 AM on Jun. 29, 2011

  • It depends on the state. Most likely the child would be permitted to go to the back of the court room and talk to the judge, perhaps in the judges chambers. But generally the child needs to be between 11-13 years old for the judge to listen to the child. Any younger and it's not happening. This will vary state to state, and is really a good question for the court clerk in your county. I suggest calling them. =)
    Razelda

    Answer by Razelda at 7:10 AM on Jun. 29, 2011

  • If they are 15 and 17, I don't understand why they can't go to court and say who they wanna live with, i know they would be able to here, even if they are minors! Do you have an attorney? All these reasons for getting them from him should be brought up in court, right down to where he lives, where the kids wanna live and both of your incomes! Do you get visitations , I may have missed reading that but if you do, then there must be some trust there on the courts behalf and I would go for the 50/50. If you don't have visitation rights then i would assume that would be the next step the judge will grant, especially since abuse was not an issue. I would request mediation! Your lawyer needs to go into court and bring all theses matters up to the judge, otherwise the jugde won't know the situation. i would especially try to get the 17 yr. old in there! Good luck!

    anichols1

    Answer by anichols1 at 7:11 AM on Jun. 29, 2011

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