Q: What is an in-camera judge appearance like to a child?
My child is scheduled for an in-camera meeting with the judge regarding primary residency during the school year. My child is 12 and is nervous about the other parent badgering them about what is discussed. I want to be able to reassure my child.
A: An in-camera meeting with the judge is usually not recommended because it can cause much stress for the child. The court usually tries to avoid it and will quite often appoint a guardian ad litem or a child's representative that can act as the eyes and ears for the court. In your case, however, the court decided to conduct an in-camera meeting. You should ask the court to enter a restraining order so that neither parent can question your child or discuss in any manner what transpired during the in-camera meeting.
A: The professionals involved in contested custody proceedings are usually very understanding of the stress the interview may cause the child. The judge will be personable and informal with the child most likely.
I agree with the other attorney that suggested a restraining order re communication with child. The judge should not hesitate to enter this order and to admonish the parties re same.
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