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The Voice of a Child in Family Law Disputes$
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Patrick Parkinson and Judy Cashmore

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199237791

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237791.001.0001

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Judicial Conversations with Children

Judicial Conversations with Children

(p.158) 7 Judicial Conversations with Children
The Voice of a Child in Family Law Disputes

Patrick Parkinson

Judy Cashmore

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on children's views on talking with judges, taking into account the views of children, parents, as well as those of the judges. It shows that despite the marked reluctance of many of the judges to conduct interviews with children in chambers, there was a surprising degree of congruence in the views of judges, parents, and children about the potential value — and the risks — of judicial conversations with children. Some parents and judges, and a number of the children expressed the view that hearing what children have to say at first-hand provides a useful and often better sense of what is important to children and their experience in the family. It was particularly the children in the contested cases involving protracted disputes who expressed a desire to talk to the judge even though in most cases they had experienced being interviewed by an independent expert, and had a child representative.

Keywords:   children, participation, judges, parents, family, contested cases

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