If my mom and stephfather are in the middle of a divorce and I’m subpenaoed to court to be a witness in the trial, when I’m on the stand do I have to talk?

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If my mom and stephfather are in the middle of a divorce and I’m subpenaoed to court to be a witness in the trial, when I’m on the stand do I have to talk?

Asked on January 9, 2013 under Family Law, West Virginia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It depends. If you are a minor, you may be able to simply have a guardian ad litem protect your interest and basically indicate you do not wish to be a part of the divorce proceedings and see if the court will allow you as a minor to not have to take the stand as it would be in your best interest to not speak. The same may not hold true if you are an adult. You can certain limit your testimony but you need to make sure you explain thoroughly why you do not wish to speak.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is unfortunate that one or both of your parents have had you served with a trial subpoena to testify at their dissolution proceeding. If you are placed on the stand, you need to answer all questions to the best of your knowledge truthfully. Yes, you have to speak if you are called to testify.


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