How to write letters of recommendation for child custody

By Gilbert Manda
Child custody usually becomes an issue during a divorce.

Character plays a significant role in child custody trials. Each parent is required to provide sufficient proof related to character. This includes behaviour and mental attitude. The court wants to establish what is best for the child in a custody trial, and the onus is on each parent to provide proof of good conduct. Friends, neighbours and relatives can vouch for the character of someone in a custody trial through a custody letter of recommendation.

Use the word processor to write a letter of recommendation for child custody. Design your letter in a formal way. Put your address in the top right corner. Date the letter and address it to the presiding judge on the left side of the letter below your address. Include the court's address. Double space after the judge's address.

After Dear Sir/Madam, write the reference indicating you are writing to recommend a friend or a relative in the custody trial. Start the letter by explaining the relationship between you and the parent. Include how many years you have known each other.

Describe fully the parent you are recommending, indicating the reasons why you think the person is of good character. Construct the letter based on the specific personal attributes of the person you are recommending such as parenting, commitment and attitude towards children. Include anecdotes that accurately describe the trait of the subject of the recommendation.

Omit the negative traits that might undermine the person you are recommending. But do not write something that is too good to be true. Do not exaggerate; instead, keep it simple and to the point in order to make your recommendation letter believable. Be truthful. Lying might come to haunt you if the person you are recommending would sexually abuse the child one day, for example. You must understand a custody trial is about the children, and the essence of your letter is to help the judge determine what is best for the child.

Keep in mid that the most effective character letters are heartfelt. Once you have accomplished that in the body of the letter, you can end it with "yours sincerely" or "yours faithfully," or ``yours respectfully." You must sound polite and respectful to the judge.

Tip

Make your letter brief and to the point. The judge might not be interested in reading several pages of a monotonous recommendation letter.

Warning

Lying in court is a crime called perjury. No matter how much you love the person you are recommending, stick to the truth.

About the Author

Gilbert Manda has written financial news since 2000. He holds a professional diploma from the London School of Journalism, a Bachelor of Science in global business and public policy from the University of Maryland and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University London.