Don’t coach your child in preparation for the interview by the judge

Posted October 20th, 2016.

Categories: Child Custody, Custody Tips, Family Law.

interviewing-kid-mark-guralnick

Here’s a funny story. Or maybe it’s no so funny. We were representing a father who wanted custody of his daughters. The mother adamantly objected to a change in custody. For a year, the children had been shuttling back and forth between the parents’ homes, and it was time to pick a primary residence in anticipation of the school year. The judge indicated he would interview the girls.

When the judge interviewed the oldest child, age 7, the girl provided a surprising answer. The judge asked: “What kinds of things do you like to do at your mother’s house?” The child responded: “I like to play, I like to watch television. My mommy let’s me help her cook in the kitchen.” Then, the judge asked, “What kinds of things do you like to do at your father’s house?” The child said: “Daddy is irresponsible. He does not take care of us. He is always late. And he doesn’t pay support.”

Needless to say, the child had been coached by her mother. She had memorized several derogatory comments about her father, and was ready to unleash them when the first question was asked about her father. The judge quickly picked up on the fact that the child was reciting a rehearsed speech. The judge awarded temporary custody to the father and ordered the parents to attend counseling.

The case described above is true, and it is not an isolated one. Parents who coach their children to say negative things to judges during custody interviews often discover that the comments backfire. The moral of the story is NOT to coach the kids. Let them be natural. Give them lots of good things to talk about by setting a good example at your home. Make sure they eat right, sleep right, dress properly, act mannerly and respectful, and live a wholesome life defined by a proper mix of recreation, learning, healthy living, safe habits, parental discipline and personal growth.

If one of the parents has been doing a lousy job, the child will reflect this fact in her own words….and an experienced family court judge will detect it.

Share this Post

Read Our Latest Blog Posts

Contact Us Today for a No-Fee Consultation!

Timely, effective legal services with down-to-Earth, common sense advice, provided to individuals, businesses, and organizations.

The legal team at the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick is happy to assist you with your legal problems, no matter how big or small. We serve clients throughout the United States and across the world.

Feel free to contact us toll-free at 1-866-337-2900.

8 College
Degrees
6 Specialty
Certifications
9 Bar
Licenses
10 Law
Books
8 Professional
Awards
30+ Years of
Experience
100+ Published
Articles

Licensed as a private detective, Mark Guralnick is a former investigative news reporter, and leverages these skills and experiences to deliver excellent client service while finding smart, practical, cost-effective solutions.

See What We Can Do For You
Back to Top