Tiny Tommy Testifying: An Approach to Minor Child Input
Lauri Kritt Martin, CFLS
Lauri Kritt Martin is a certified family law specialist with Farzad & Ochoa Family Law Attorneys, LLP in the firm’s downtown Los Angeles office. Lauri Kritt Martin may be one of the last attorneys left who enjoys litigation, while always striving to reach a negotiated resolution for her clients.
It is Monday morning following the Thanksgiving weekend. You are sitting in your office (now located in the bedroom of your nineteen-year-old away at college) gathering your thoughts and preparing to dive into this week’s work. Your phone ringsâit is a client, Sara, who is upset about news her fifteen-year-old son told her this morning upon his return to her residence after spending Thanksgiving weekend with his father, Sara’s former husband, and his new wife. Sara had originally sought your assistance to help her negotiate the extension of time to refinance the former family home ("residence") so Sara can afford to complete the buyout of the father’s interest.
This morning, Sara’s focus in not on finances, but, as she phrases it, the "safety" of her son, who suffers from asthma, a condition that can cause respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 to become possibly life threatening. The son reported to Sara that his father took him to a friend’s home for Thanksgiving dinner where there were fifteen people for dinner, all inside and with no windows opened for ventilation. Sara is concerned about the father’s disregard of COVID-19 protocol and wonders what she should do to protect her son. From within the privacy of her bathroom, Sara whispers to you what her son told her, because her son told her he does not want Sara to call or talk to his father about Thanksgiving.