RI Family Court Judges have different philosophies regarding whether they will interview children in a RI divorce, custody or visitation case. These interviews are typically in camera. In camera is a latin word for “in chambers”.
Some judges refuse to interview children under any circumstances. These judges will have a Guardian Ad Litem, Rhode Island Family Services or DCYF do the interviews. DCYF only gets involved if there are allegations of abuse or neglect of a child.
Other judges routinely interview children in camera. Sometimes the attorneys will be allowed in the interview to ask questions. Some judges will not allow the attorneys to be present but will allow the attorneys to submit a list of questions to ask the child. There is typically a Court reporter in the judge’s chambers to take a transcript of the interview.
There is no per se rule prohibiting children from testifying in Court. However, children testifying is extremely rare if not nonexistent. I have never seen a case in which a child testified in open Court in Rhode Island.
Posts by experienced Child Custody LawyerDavid Slepkow 401-437-1100