Will the judge interview our child?

When parents are unable to agree on an appropriate custodial arrangement for their child, a judge may be called upon to make a decision in a New Jersey custody case. In some instances, the judge may choose to interview the child to gain an understanding of the child’s wishes and needs. If the judge decides to interview the child, it is important for parents to be aware of what the process entails and how to best prepare the child for the interview. This article will provide an overview of the interview process and tips for helping the child feel comfortable and confident during the interview.

What Parents Need to Know About Child Custody Interviews in New Jersey

Parental custody is a crucial part of ensuring the welfare of a child. In New Jersey, when parents are filing for custody of a child, they may be asked to participate in a child custody interview. In order to ensure that parents are adequately prepared for the interview, it is important to understand the purpose of the interview, what to expect, and how best to prepare. The purpose of a child custody interview is for the court to gain a better understanding of the relationship between the parent and the child. During the interview, the court may ask questions about the parent’s relationship with the child, the child’s home environment, the parent’s plans for the child’s future, and the child’s own wishes. Typically, neither the parents or the attorneys are present for the interview. The judge may allow each side to submit questions, but is not obligated to use them. Child custody interviews can be stressful, but being prepared and knowing what to expect can help ensure a successful outcome. Parents should make sure to do their research and be knowledgeable about the process in order to ensure that the best interests of their child are taken into consideration.

Understanding the Impact of Child Custody Interviews in New Jersey Courts

Interviews can be very stressful for the child and in my practice I try to avoid them whenever possible. The child may feel very conflicted. The child may, due to age, be unreliable. The child could be telling each parent what they think that parent wants to hear only to finally tell the judge the truth; much to the surprise of each parent. It is important to note that the judge is not required to act on any preferences or wishes expressed by the child. This can lead to feelings of frustration and disappointment. In rare cases the interview may be needed and can be helpful. They can also be risky and detrimental to parent and child alike.

About Sandy Durst

Sandy Durst, Esq., is the founding partner of The Durst Firm where he heads the Family Law Department. Individuals facing a divorce benefit from the combination of legal skill, common sense and compassion that Sandy brings to each and every matter. Each case is given the personalized attention it deserves.
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