Divorces can be messy. They often require both spouses to air their dirty laundry in a courtroom. However, sometimes they involve others who have been witness to the incidents in the marriage that led to divorce. A divorce trial witness may come into court and give testimony regarding an array of issues in the divorce. However, the use of a witness during a divorce trial should be carefully undertaken by an attorney who can manage your case. Call Law Offices of Rick D. Banks at (559) 222-4891 today.
Reasons You May have a Divorce Trial Witness
The court will focus on four subjects during trial, all of which may involve a witness:
- Grounds for divorce
- Alimony and child support
- Parenting time and child custody
- Property division
Grounds for Divorce
You may have a witness to testify on your behalf regarding the grounds for divorce. While many states offer “no fault” divorces, if you are claiming a “fault” divorce, it is your responsibility to prove your spouse did something that warrants a divorce. That may include adultery or abuse. A witness can help you avoid a he-said/she-said situation. Instead of one party against the other, a witness may contribute their third party view of the circumstances that led to the divorce.
Alimony and Child Support
Child support hearings don’t typically require additional witness testimony. Both parents will need to contribute information, such as income and financial data. However, another witness won’t be much help. Most states have child support guidelines that are strictly based on the financial information of both parents.
Alimony, or spousal support, however, is different. There are many factors the court will look at when awarding alimony. The court will consider the spouses’ health, income, and earning potential. It can be helpful to have a witness to validate or contest the assertions being made.
Parenting Time and Child Custody
Many issues involved with child custody and parenting time, or visitation, can be determined by the parents on their own. However, if they must involve the court, a witness can be useful. Parents may make allegations of child abuse or endangerment, which would require proof.
Family members and friends can testify regarding the relationship between children and their parents. Mental health professionals and representatives from social services might interview children and parents and conduct an investigation.
Both spouses must present all of their property to the court and it will be divided fairly. Witnesses are not typically required for property division. However, if a spouse is trying to hide property or disposes of it prior to divorce, a witness may be able to shed light on that situation.
Professional appraisals may be required for property; however, that is usually handled outside of court. An appraisal may be brought into court if there is a dispute.
Choosing a Divorce Trial Witness
Some courts do not allow family members to provide a character witness due to perceived biases. However, you may be able to use a friend, colleague, or someone else you know well as a character witness. You should choose someone who has first-hand accounts of your behavior and your spouse’s behavior.
Call a Divorce Lawyer Today
The attorneys at Law Offices of Rick D. Banks have significant experience working with witnesses in divorce trials. Call us today at (559) 222-4891.