Are Children’s Statements Admissible in a Court Proceeding?

Generally, such statements are hearsay.  Wis. Stats. 906.11 gives the Court broad authority to control the presentation of evidence, including statements of children in a custody case.  Look for a hearsay exception before offering the child’s statement.  You can potentially admit the child’s statement through an expert.  Wis. Stats. 907.03 allows experts to base their opinions on facts or data not available in evidence.  Hearsay exceptions which may be successful in the admission of a child’s statement include:

1.    Present sense impression;
2.    Excited utterance;
3.    The existing mental, emotional or facial condition; and
4.    Statements for purposes of medical diagnosis or treatment.

Statements of recent perception are admissible under Wis. Stats. 908.045.  For example, if a child says something at school to a teacher or to a daycare provider Wis. Stats. 908.045 may be a successful hearsay exception.