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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34233
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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what is the minimum age a child may present evidence in court

Customer Question

what is the minimum age a child may present evidence in court in court order variation proceedings?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Do you mean within contact or residence proceedings and how old is the child?
Claire
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The child involved is 10 yrs old and currently lives with her mother. She has spent the last 3 weeks with her father as per contact order. She was due to be returned to us today, however, the father is now refusing to bring her back saying he intends to bring her to a scheduled court hearing tomorrow in order that she may speak directly to the court. The father intends to represent himself and has spent the last three weeks emotionally manipulating the child in preparation for tomorrows hearing.


 


The hearing is to vary 3 clauses in an existing court order regarding the following:


 


Removal of clause prohibiting the mother from referring the father to CSA/CMEC in the absence of maintenance payments


removal of clause regarding mid term contact weekend (agreed by the father)


Removal of clauses restricting the ability of mothers new boyfriend (me) from being left in sole charge of the daughter


 


Cafcass has spoken to the mother and father in preparation for tomorrows hearing.


 


Essentially the mother does not wish for her daughter to be put through attending and speaking at court. There is no objection to Cafcass talking to the daughter.


 


Thanks for your help

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay I have had connection problems.
The Judge would have to give permission for the Child to give evidence and it is highly unlikely that it will be given.
there are guideline sin respect of children giving evidence - they are here
http://www.familylaw.co.uk/system/uploads/attachments/0003/7149/FJC_Guidelines_in_relation_children_giving_evidence_in_family_proceedings_Dec_2011.pdf
As you can see this is about children giving evidence f abuse in Family Proceedings not about minor issues such as these - Indeed the fact that her father sees this as a reasonable course of action will count heavily against him
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Claire