What defines hearsay in a child custody case?

Posted on May 24, 2010 by Katie Carter

Hearsay in a child custody case is an out-of-court statement that is being offered in court as evidence to prove a claim. Hearsay in a child custody case may come from many sources, secondhand accounts of events, statements that were not validated by witness presence or recording, and unverified documentation.

In your Virginia child custody case you may be committing hearsay in a child custody case if you attempt to use secondhand information as proof of a claim you make against the child’s father.

For example, if a neighbor told you they saw your child hanging outside the window of their father’s car, you personally cannot present that information as evidence because you did not witness the incident. However, the neighbor can be asked to come testify in court about the incident.

There are some instances where out-of-court statements are not considered hearsay in a child custody case. If you are offering a statement that is not being used to prove the truth of that statement, it may be admissible. If your child came home from visitation with her father and said “Daddy is mean,” it would not be hearsay to testify that your child said that. You are not trying to prove he is mean; you are proving that your child said that after visiting with her father.

There are many exceptions to the rule of hearsay in a child custody case that require an extensive knowledge of Virginia child custody laws. The Virginia child custody attorneys at Hofheimer Family Law Firm can help you present the proper evidence in court. Contact us today to schedule a legal consultation – 757-210-9870.