Don’t let your kids write to the judge

Posted May 18th, 2016.

Categories: Custody Tips, Family Law.

writing letter to judge mark guralnick

Some parents think they can gain an edge in a child custody case by having their children write to the judge. Worse yet, they help the children put their words on paper, effectively ghostwriting private notes to the judge.

This is wrong on many levels.

First, most judges disapprove of children getting in the middle of a custody fight. When kids pen a personal missive to the judge, they’re generally taking sides and becoming litigants or witnesses themselves.

Secondly, when a judge receives a letter from a child, judicial policy usually requires him to ignore the correspondence, return the correspondence, or distribute it to all attorneys in the case.

A letter from a child that was coached, corrected or ghost-written by a parent may reflect the over-involvement of the parent, the unfair tactical devices of the parent or perhaps the parent’s dangerous victimization of the child (as in parental alienation syndrome).

If you believe your child has something independent to say about a child custody dispute, encourage him to communicate directly to you. Invite him to record his thoughts in a personal journal. If appropriate, have your child express his thoughts to a counselor, social worker or psychologist. Do not allow or permit your child to join you in the legal dispute.

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