Are Minors Required To Testify In Court?

Any person who is “competent” to testify, whether or not he or she is a minor, can be required to testify in court. Competence generally means that the person understand the difference between truth and falsehood, and understand the duty to tell the truth. Competency also requires that a person have personal knowledge of the topics about which he or she is called to testify.

Even though children may be competent and qualified to testify in court, many courts look unfavorably on children testifying. This is especially true in family law cases. Calling a child to testify in a family law case often involves asking the child to testify against a parent, which is not in the best interest of a child.

Douglas N. Kiger, Attorney at Law
Blado Kiger Bolan, Tacoma, Wash.

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