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Main Forums => Custody Issues => Topic started by: dipper on Mar 14, 2017, 09:16:19 AM

Title: Suggestions for testimony
Post by: dipper on Mar 14, 2017, 09:16:19 AM
We go to court next Tuesday and this is the first time we will actually be testifying in front of the judge.  I am extremely nervous, though our attorney feels the judge will not allow the mother any time on her will be tied into the grandmother having to be present.

Any tips?  As you all know, I can be wordy and defensive - elaborating to show why I did something or why the other party is wrong.

Is it okay to elaborate or just answer exactly what is asked?

The other parties are moving this Saturday to be surrounded by other family members and I am sure rent free.   Though the mother's lawyer notified our attorney, the grandmother has not notified us of her move.   The order states 30 days in writing.   

The address provided to us, I believe is not correct.  It is for the house at the front of the road, but not the specific 911 address of where child will be when in their care.  I don't know if grandma will live with them or if she and her husband will live in another trailer on the same property.
Title: Re: Suggestions for testimony
Post by: ocean on Mar 14, 2017, 10:04:56 AM
Your lawyer should meet with you before trial to go over questions they will ask so you know and wont be surprised and go over answers with lawyer. We always put the answer in the question so all you have to do is say , yes that is true. (ex. On dec. 12 , jan 4, and march 3, did the mother/grandmother cancel their visits?) This way you do not have to remember exact dates.
Do not say mother should never be alone with child or anything like that. Custody is given to the party who can deal with all the players involved. "I want "child" to see her mother but in a safe environment". When the other lawyer questions you , answer yes, no, but no opinions. Facts only. Have your proof ready to go and give copy of everything to lawyer (pics of texts, voicemails, emails, charts you made on cancel visits, whatever).
Good luck!
Title: Re: Suggestions for testimony
Post by: dipper on Mar 14, 2017, 12:22:20 PM
Thanks Ocean for the advice!! - so I should take my documentation with me on the stand as well?   I have a notebook. 

We met with the attorney last week but he only said - do not lie or embellish.   If you embellish the judge will see through it.  I have given him a mountain of stuff...and he has another mountain of medical reports to go through.  When asked exactly what he will use against her from all the material provided, he said he is going straight down the outline I provided. 

I have not heard any claims from the other side or what they are planning against us.  They have summonsed two people - neither have been around me/my husband and could only say something she told them.  They only summonsed my husband's health records for documents. I do not know if our attorney has shared much with her attorney either. 
Title: Re: Suggestions for testimony
Post by: dipper on Mar 14, 2017, 12:23:16 PM
Oh ...when you say give a copy of everything to the lawyer - my lawyer or her lawyer in court?   
Title: Re: Suggestions for testimony
Post by: ocean on Mar 14, 2017, 01:07:51 PM
Your lawyer and you have copies so if something comes up in their testimony that you can prove is false you can take it out. Your lawyer will put it into evidence as it comes up in court. Depends on judge and set up to trial room. Here you stay at the table with your lawyer and have microphone at table so I was able to have my folder in front of me. Our lawyer gives us her list of possible questions grouped by issue but the questions are worded so we dont have to testify too much. The information is in the question. Also wait a few seconds to see if you lawyer allows you to answer a question, if it is something that is not relevant they will object and you wont have to answer.
Title: Re: Suggestions for testimony
Post by: dipper on Mar 14, 2017, 04:37:10 PM
When we went for a show cause once pro se, we did not have to get on the witness stand but it was more telling the judge what went on and she asked questions of me.  I didn't get a chance to ask her questions as she had no evidence at all for her claims so the judge did not listen long.  Thank you for your advice...I think we better practice!