Studies shows that children from broken homes are not given the opportunity to be heard.
Studies show that Children are not given ample opportunity to be heard in the Court because they are not given a chance to speak directly to the judge. According to a recent survey, out of the 44 Family Courts, only 6 of them are able to meet the children and be given a chance to speak their perspective of the family dispute that they are involved with.
This new children issue arises from the fact that the children are rarely given the opportunity to meet the judge face-to-face. The experts recommend that this matter should be addressed properly in order for the child to ventilate what he thinks of the family dispute. In turn, this can give an additional basis for the judge to arrive at a just disposition of the case.
However many judges opt not to ask direct questions to the child considering that many of them feel that they do not have sufficient expertise to interpret the statement of the child witness. The most court would resort to alternative means to extract testimony from a child like the use of a videotaped or recorded interview and submission of the affidavit. Children, on the other hand, feels that their views are not heard that well, and they would consider a testimony before the Court rather than this documented testimony.
Under the Family Law and Jurisprudence, children are given the opportunity to be heard before the court. They can raise their issues and point of views which can be beneficial to the Court in deciding the family dispute. There is an important factor that needs to be distinguished between allowing a child to directly participate or give evidence and affording him the opportunity to articulate his views and opinion on a particular issue in a family dispute. The latter will allow the child to be immensely involved in the action which is essential since the family dispute can be considered as an important turning point in his life.
A caveat should be remembered in involving a child in a case most especially to those children who are still too young to be reasonable and have a sound discernment of the dispute. The court and parties to the case must at all times take into consideration his protection and welfare if they intend to extract testimonial evidence from them. In a case of a more mature child, the court and the parties involved must also take the necessary precaution and be flexible in allowing them to be involved with the case.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.