– from Scott L. in Hartford, WI

Question Details:

I don’t want to get into too much detail, but I may have made a mistake. During the pretrial I gave information that was not accurate in regards to a paternity suit. The trial is coming up and I’m wondering if I can testify to something that differs from my pretrial testimony.

Family Law Attorney Response:

This question has a pretty broad scope. To address your question, however, there are several potential problems with changing your testimony at the trial. Aside from the obvious problems, changing your testimony would affect your credibility which can undermine the whole case.

This is seen in the case of State v. J.L.T. (In re Paternity of M.A.V.) 149 Wis. 2d 548, 439 N.W.2d 829 (Ct. App. 1989). A mother testified that she had intercourse with several men during the conceptive period. Then, at trial, she claimed she had sex with only one. Despite the jury finding that the defendant was not the father, the court directed its verdict in favor of the mother. The father appealed and the court of appeals reversed.

I also take it at this point you do not have representation. My advice to you is to contact a family law attorney and discuss these details at greater length before moving forward with the trial.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

lexis-nexis-image lawyers-image justia-image hg-image findlaw-image avvo-image