The Designation of Fiance Does Not Carry Much Weight in Family Court
Until recently, when the word "fiancé" was used in Family Court it was a title and it had great meaning. It was far different than a girlfriend or a boyfriend, it was someone who was, for the most part, stable and going to move towards marriage with one of the parties. The fiancé's testimony was used in custody cases, criminal neglect cases and child support cases. Courts gave great credence to the title “fiancé”. However, the title was abused. Every girlfriend and every boyfriend started calling themselves "fiancé" so that their testimony was more believable in custody, support and neglect cases. The court has become wise to this as and has become hardened to this. The court has been hardened to the fiancé title because they are distinctly unwilling to further expand the definition of what constitutes a family.
Since same-sex marriage became legal in New York State, marriage is getting more weight than ever. Courts are eager to hear that someone has re-married and they are more than willing to use the testimony of the new spouse. It is only when the client attempts to bring a "fiancé" witness when there arises a problem. With fiancé witnesses, if the court does not believe you intend to marry that person, it would be worse than if you had not called that witness. A witness who calls themselves a fiancé may discredit an entire case if the judge does not believe that marriage is imminent. Fiancé is something that leads to marriage, but it is not marriage. Most recently a judge in the Family Court opined the following in connection with fiancé's testimony "fiancés are friends, keep friends (real and imaginary) out of the courtroom. No testimony from fiancés or God." This was a shocking quote and it was done during the middle of testimony. I am certain that God is allowed in the courtroom, however fiancé testimony is no longer given much credence in Family Court.