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Children in court

Wearing blue robes, Judge Cynthia Dianne Steel sits in a big, leather chair. She’s been a District Court Judge in the Family Division since 1997. Looking into the camera, the gray-haired judge speaks firmly and distinctly. When she talks about Nevada family law, people listen.

Last year, Judge Steel addressed divorcing parents on the subject of children in court. Is it OK for you to bring them in to watch and listen to your divorce proceedings? She answered that question and several others in her to-the-point talk available on YouTube.

“It’s a privilege to talk to you about this very important issue,” the judge says with a smile. She is quickly very serious, however, looking straight into the camera and saying, “As a general rule, do not bring your children to court.” She says each word slowly and deliberately so that there is no mistaking the message.

She says there are a couple of exceptions to this general rule: bring the kids if the court tells you do so, of course, and bring them along if you have been served with a subpoena to bring them.

“Court is for adults,” she says. “You need to protect your children from being involved in this process.”

Steel adds that divorcing parents should not allow their kids to read court paperwork, don’t tell them what’s going on in court and don’t ask them to write a letter to the judge.

She says judges want to protect your kids, just as you do. If you have questions about bringing your children to court, discuss them first with your family law attorney. If he or she decides that your kids have a valid reason to be in court, he or she will know the proper way to raise the subject with the court.

This is one of the many ways in which your attorney protects and helps you in divorce. You can discuss your child custody matters with an experienced attorney who knows the courts, laws, paperwork and procedures involved in Nevada divorces.

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