Judge threatens to have child testify in fight for shared custody

Massachusetts readers of this blog may be interested to learn of a recent custody battle in another state. The father of a 4-year-old boy who is fighting with his estranged wife for shared custody was told to settle his issues or face the consequences. If the two can’t reach an agreement, the little boy they’re arguing over will have to testify in court.

The judge stressed that she did not want to involve the child. She said, however, she would have no choice if the couple could not come to mutually agreeable terms about the boy’s custody. The latest altercation was prompted by a denied demand for fast food.

The boy’s father refused to take the boy for a Happy Meal. A temper tantrum reportedly ensued. The boy’s mother responded by informing the court-appointed psychiatrist, who recommended the mother be given sole custody based on the incident. The father responded by filing a lawsuit against the psychiatrist.

The judge painted a bleak picture of what testifying could mean for a 4 year old. She said the facility itself was imposing and compared it to a “fortress” with scary artwork and statues that could be terrifying for someone so young. She claimed the experience would be traumatic for the boy, and she hoped sincerely it did not take place.

The couple has two months to work out their issues concerning shared custody. Hopefully they can put aside their differences and agree to a solution that makes their son the top priority. Couples going through similar circumstances in Massachusetts understand how difficult that may be.

Source: New York Post, Judge to ‘unfit’ dad: Settle custody war or son, 4, will testify, Julia Marsh, March 12, 2014

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