Can Character Witnesses Be Helpful in a Divorce?
Expert witnesses play a significant role in divorce cases, as they can lend insight into a person’s financial, medical or emotional situation. But what about character witnesses? Character witnesses are often used in criminal cases as a way to portray a defendant in a positive light. Can they also be helpful or make a difference in divorce trials?
It is fairly common for parties in a divorce to request their attorneys use character witnesses. These proposed witnesses usually include friends, family members and, sometimes, colleagues. The line of thinking is that it can be helpful to have someone close to them talk about how great of a person they are, how great they are with their kids and that they have great character.
However, the use of character witnesses in a divorce tends to not make a difference. The use of such witnesses is almost never persuasive, as anyone can find family members or friends who will say great things about them.
What are your alternatives?
Instead of having friends or family members come in to testify about your character, have them relay facts or tell stories about what they’ve seen someone do as a parent. The witness in such a case can still be accused of being biased, so the choice of witness becomes more important. More persuasive third-party witnesses tend to be a child’s teachers, doctors, coaches or fellow church members.
When you use these witnesses correctly, they are “character witnesses” without having to outright testify about your character. Instead, they’re telling factual stories that speak for themselves about the kind of character you have.
For more tips and guidance regarding the use of witnesses in a divorce case, consult an experienced Long Island attorney with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.