Can My Child Testify in Family Court?

As Chicago family law attorneys, we are often asked should a child testify in family court. Parents often know that their children see and hear what happens in a family home, or in their parent’s individual homes and that the children often have access to information that would corroborate the parent’s position. Many parents who are new to family law in the legal system may believe that this benefits their case in some way and will try to utilize their child’s knowledge and witness statements to their advantage. Sometimes it is by recording them, sometimes it is by pushing for the minor child’s voice to be heard. However, parents learn very quickly that the Judges will do everything in their power to try and make sure children are as uninvolved in the legal dispute between their parents as they possibly can be. There are certain exceptions that are made, but they are very limited.

For the most part, the Court does not want the minor children involved in divorce or family law disputes and rarely if ever wants the children to be forced to testify in family court.

Child Testimony in Family Court

Child Testimony By “In Camera Review”

In very limited circumstances, a minor child might be called to testify as a witness. This is reserved for only the most dire circumstances, as a last resort, and usually the allegations are incredibly serious. Or, the minor child might be significantly older (i.e. a teenager), where their level of maturity is different than that of a younger child.

Age a Minor Child Can Testify in Illinois Family Court


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