Custody Hearings

  • (a) Custody proceedings shall receive priority in being set for hearing.
  • (b) The court may tax as costs the payment of necessary travel and other expenses incurred by any person whose presence at the hearing the court deems necessary to determine the best interest of the child.
  • (c) The court, without a jury, shall determine questions of law and fact. If it finds that a public hearing may be detrimental to the child’s best interest, the court may exclude the public from a custody hearing, but may admit any person who has a direct and legitimate interest in the particular case or a legitimate educational or research interest in the work of the court.
  • (d) If the court finds it necessary, in order to protect the child’s welfare, that the record of any interview, report, investigation, or testimony in a custody proceeding be kept secret, the court may make an appropriate order sealing the record.
  • (e) Previous statements made by the child relating to any allegations that the child is an abused or neglected child within the meaning of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, or an abused or neglected minor within in the meaning of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, shall be admissible in evidence in a hearing concerning custody of or visitation with the child. No such statement, however, if uncorroborated and not subject to cross examination, shall be sufficient in itself to support a finding of abuse or neglect.