Calling Character Witnesses During a Parenting Case

Calling Character Witnesses During a Parenting CaseYou are most likely to use a subpoena during your divorce when you need your spouse to turn over important documents related to your marital finances. Using subpoenas on potential witnesses has become less common in Illinois since the state made all divorces no-fault cases. When spouses needed to prove fault in a divorce, they called on character witnesses to support claims of infidelity or immorality. Character witnesses can still be useful during a divorce when you are trying to establish the allocation of parental responsibilities.

What Witnesses Provide

You may be concerned about leaving your children alone with your spouse if he or she can be irresponsible or abusive. However, a court may believe your own testimony on the subject to be biased because you could benefit from portraying your spouse as an unfit parent. A third-party witness would support your claims by testifying that he or she saw your spouse:

  • Act recklessly or abusively with your children;
  • Regularly fail to fulfill his or her parental duties; or
  • Expose your children to unhealthy situations.

Identifying Witnesses

A witness in a parenting dispute should be someone who sees your children regularly, but a court may view testimony from a family member or close friend as being biased towards you. Ideally, you would find a witness who does not have a personal connection to you, such as a neighbor, teacher, coach, or babysitter. This person’s only concern should be towards what is best for your children.

Cooperation

Your divorce attorney should talk to a potential witness before you call on him or her to testify in your case. You need to know whether this person is willing to testify and what he or she will say. A subpoena can compel a witness to appear in court, but he or she may be less cooperative or forthcoming with information if he or she feels forced to testify. You also do not want the witness to surprise you in court by giving testimony that contradicts your argument.

Written Testimony

A potential witness may be uncomfortable appearing in court to testify about your parenting dispute. A courtroom can be an intimidating atmosphere, and your witness may feel it would be too awkward to testify against your spouse while he or she is present. The witness may be more amenable to signing an affidavit with a written statement that you can present to the court.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

You should identify potential witnesses while planning for your divorce hearings. Some witnesses may be professionals who can speak on matters such as finances and parenting. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can advise whether witnesses can help you in your divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2017&ChapterID=56&SeqStart=2200000&SeqEnd=3900000

Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174

 630-584-4800

 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563

 630-364-4046

 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187

 630-407-1777

Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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