How do I alert the Court that my child has a preference and how does the Court inquire as to what the child's preference is?
To answer the first question, the child's desire to express their preference to the Court may be brought to the Court's attention by Minor's counsel, Court investigator, mediator or party. Or their attorney indicates to the judge that the child wishes to address the Court or judge.
As to the latter question, there is not a defined set of procedures for having the child address the Court. In the years since the implementation of FC 3042, the common procedure that I have observed is that the Court clears the courtroom except for the parties, there counsel, and the Court staff. The child usually sits on the witness stand and the judge asks the questions that either they have come up with or that the parties or their counsel have submitted to the judge to ask the child. Although there is some variation, this is what I have observed. If you need help preparing for a custody hearing where your child will be addressing the Court, contact experienced Covina attorney Paul Eads today for a case evaluation and to prepare for your hearing.