Parties often come to their divorce and/or family law attorney with the proposal that they call character witnesses. Typically, the most common character witnessed that are presented by a party are friends and family members. Parties often think it might be helpful to have their mother, father, sibling, other relative or friend come into court to testify that they are a great person, that they have great character, etc.
Obviously, a friend or a family member is going to testify about how great of a person you are. Any skilled attorney is going say that these witnesses are being biased, or having their own personal motive. Whereas character witnesses, it is often wise to think about fact witnesses that might have something important to say.
Rather than having your friend/family member testify about your character, having them tell a story as a fact witness about a pertinent fact often might be of use. Often, friends and family members can testify as to what they’ve seen somebody do as a parent in a custody case for example. Even when this takes place, these witnesses can still be attacked as being biased. So, think about some witnesses that could be more persuasive. Some of these witnesses range from: school teachers, the kids’ doctors, coaches of sporting events, members of the same club and/or church, and other unbiased witnesses that have seen the party in action as the parent or the spouse.
These witnesses are telling certain instances based on what they have seen with their own eyes or have heard with their own ears. The judge will often listen to these stories and will often come to a positive conclusion about the party without questioning the family or friends of the given party.
Stories like these can paint a positive picture as to the character of somebody that is often persuasive in trial without the summary question ever being asked. That’s best saved for the closing argument when the attorney summarizes all the facts testified to in court