Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Family & Parenting
  3. Family

Best Interest of Children

See also

Ohio and many other states provide a process whereby children may be interviewed by a judge or magistrate in matters involving issues of parental rights and responsibilities. Courts, in resolving litigation, may consider the wishes of children in determining their best interest. The Ohio statute providing for the interview is silent as to whether parents have a right to obtain a copy of the transcript of the interview. Ohio courts have not been uniform in their answer to the question of confidentiality of the transcript.

Laurel G. Stein, a Cleveland attorney authored an article for publication in the Domestic Relations Journal of Ohio which examined the decisions in various Ohio courts on the issue of transcript confidentiality. Despite the disparity of the decisions, the courts all agreed that while there must be a balancing of the best interest of children with parents procedural rights, the integrity of the interview must be preserved.

Mrs Stein's article notes a recent Licking County, Ohio case known as Lawson v Lawson in which a reviewing court held that mother could not have access to the interview transcript which had been sealed by the trial court. Mother's argument that her due process rights were violated by denying her access to the transcript was rejected. Children must be allowed to feel safe and comfortable when expressing their feelings honestly without any psychological trauma or loyalty conflicts. If children are aware that their parents will see the transcript, they are less likely to be candid with the judge or magistrate. The best interest of children is primary even though it might conflict with the due process rights of parents.

Mrs Stein also cited a case from Meigs County, Ohio known as Inscoe v Inscoe, where the court allowed father to obtain a copy of the interview transcript. The court reasoned that without a transcript a parent could not effectively challenge a determination of the parenting issue which was, at least, partially based on the interview with the child.

The majority view point, Mrs Stein reports, is that the transcript must be kept confidential to best protect children in parental disputes. It will take either the Supreme Court of Ohio or the Ohio Legislature to resolve the dispute.

Advertisement

Life

  • Transgender cop
    A transgender police officer is stepping down from her position to run for office
    Video
    Political Office
  • Easter eggs
    Craft delicate, hand-painted eggs with flowers and other designs celebrating spring
    Camera
    Easter Eggs
  • Subway message
    Subway customer finds 'Big Mama' written on her order
    Video
    Subway Message
  • Working from home
    Working from home can be an exciting venture. Get tips to ensure productivity
    Camera
    Get Tips
  • Limes
    Rising cost of limes could be putting the squeeze on your favorite restaurant
    Expensive Limes
  • Pope Francis
    Religion: Pope Francis instructs how to fight against Satan
    Morning Mass

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!