SB 654 Youth Testimony Protections – “to amplify the voices of children in family court custody battles”

SB 654, Youth Testimony Protections – Senator Dave Min, 37th District

California has taken steps in recent years to amplify the voices of children in family court custody battles – yet too often this is done in situations that can be traumatizing and dangerous for children. To ensure that children are protected from facing life-altering trauma in family court, SB 654 prevents a child’s testimony from being given in the presence of the parties seeking custody, unless it is absolutely necessary. This bill also clarifies that children have a right to change their mind about how they wish to provide input. SB 654 also extends existing safety measures related to custody to unsupervised visitation. By ensuring that judges must prioritize the safety and wellbeing of children, this bill will not only promote consistency in our laws, but it will save lives of innocent children.

Access Full Text Document here.

Access CJE’s position paper on SB 654 here.