New Excessive Court docket Rule and Court docket Case on Youngster Interview at Custody Trial

One of the most sensitive components of a child custody case is the interview of the child by the court. The rule governing the interview of the child is Rule 1915.11. Rule 1915.11 has evolved over the years and has recently been amended, effective April 1. The evolution of Rule 1915.11 is hand in hand with the evolving sensitivity of the child interview. For example, in years past, the prior title and language of Rule 1915.11 referred to the child interview as an “interrogation.” Under that prior version of the rule, the rule stated: “the court may interrogate a child …” In recent years, the rule has been tweaked so that the word “interrogation” has now been substituted by the word “interview.” The removal of the word “interrogation” from the rule marked a sign of sensitivity toward the issue of a child having to speak to a judge about the child’s parents in a child custody case.

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