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Thread: Character reference letter for family court?

  1. #31
    Gold Plated Dog Sleestak's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by job View Post
    The THREE family members of mine who are Family Court Judges, two of whom preside in California, all of whom have told me that character references in cases like these have almost no bearing on their decision. Maybe you've been patronized before but FC Judges know that anyone can get anyone to say nice things about them, true or not. Just because you want to believe otherwise doesn't make it true.
    "Almost no bearing" doesn't mean has no bearing. So I would still get the letters written. As any attorney would tell you, the judge doesn't know you from Adam, and any letter of reference is going to have some weight to it, even if a little bit. A little bit, in case before the family court, matters a lot.

    Until you have been through the process, you don't have personal experience with it. I do.

  2. #32
    Team LGK 16scores's Avatar




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    Thank you all for your input. Both my friend and his wife are good people and good parents. I am going to call him tomorrow and let him know that if I write a letter for him I will will also write a letter for her saying just about the same thing. I know that both of our friends will be fine after all of this, but my real concern is for their kids.

  3. #33
    Waiting for the night Creeping Death's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by job View Post
    The THREE family members of mine who are Family Court Judges, two of whom preside in California, all of whom have told me that character references in cases like these have almost no bearing on their decision. Maybe you've been patronized before but FC Judges know that anyone can get anyone to say nice things about them, true or not. Just because you want to believe otherwise doesn't make it true.
    Im not an attorney.

    With that out of the way, job is right. It will have no bearing on their decision, AND..

    If the wife has a decent attorney, the attorney would have any letter dismissed as evidence because the attorney would not have the ability to cross examine the witness, unless you are willing to go to court and testify in open court. At that point, you are pretty much subject to answer any question that either side has for you. While right now you may not be taking any side, if you are on the stand, you definitely have the ability to damage either side's case, and could lose a friend(s) just by participating or by even being there.

    Unless you saw something happen that makes you believe you are helping the kids out by testifying, I would tell both sides that you value both of their friendships and feel that this is a matter they need to take care of between the 2 of them.

    Randall from Clerks says it best... "I find it best to stay out of other people's affairs".

    Lastly, sadly, this is a divorce. By its nature relationships are going to be destroyed. You are going to lose a friend. You and your wife should be prepared for that.

    Sorry you are stuck in a crappy spot!
    x-wingcamewest, SloMo26 and job like this.
    And thats how you get ants!

  4. #34
    All Star x-wingcamewest's Avatar




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    Quote Originally Posted by Creeping Death View Post
    Im not an attorney.

    With that out of the way, job is right. It will have no bearing on their decision, AND..

    If the wife has a decent attorney, the attorney would have any letter dismissed as evidence because the attorney would not have the ability to cross examine the witness, unless you are willing to go to court and testify in open court. At that point, you are pretty much subject to answer any question that either side has for you. While right now you may not be taking any side, if you are on the stand, you definitely have the ability to damage either side's case, and could lose a friend(s) just by participating or by even being there.

    Unless you saw something happen that makes you believe you are helping the kids out by testifying, I would tell both sides that you value both of their friendships and feel that this is a matter they need to take care of between the 2 of them.

    Randall from Clerks says it best... "I find it best to stay out of other people's affairs".

    Lastly, sadly, this is a divorce. By its nature relationships are going to be destroyed. You are going to lose a friend. You and your wife should be prepared for that.

    Sorry you are stuck in a crappy spot!
    This

  5. #35
    Bring Chips, That's a 20




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    IMO, by him asking, he has sent the first volley across the bow that your friendship may not be worth continuing on after the divorce.

    Any reasonable person has to understand that just by asking it could drive a wedge between you and your wife. Which is more important, his friendship with this guy or your wife.

    Say no and if he stops talking to you, so be it as he was never your friend in the first place.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krussadams View Post
    And I agree - I find it very odd that he wants you to send it directly to him. It tells me he either wants to read it first, and make changes if he thinks they're needed...or wants to rub it in her face. I see no good reason to send it to him directly.
    It's actually normal for a character reference for court to be sent directly to the person asking for it. If not, then make sure you give it to his lawyer. There are a lot of reasons for this. It could be that the person is simply collecting references and his lawyer will choose from among the collected letters which will be best to present in court - which I believe is a standard legal strategy. In other cases, probably not with family court issues, a reference is not even necessary for a case. And it makes sense not to send it directly because it may not be needed. So he may have wanted to keep it first unless he's already sure that a reference is necessary. Finally, the lawyer of the person for whom you are writing a character reference needs to check first the contents of the letter. S/he has to make sure that the letter will help his/her client's case and not weaken it.

    Source: http://www.criminal-lawyers.com.au/c...cter-reference (this is specific to criminal court cases but I think they're pretty much universal)

  7. #37
    waxing poetic Hipcheck's Avatar




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    They need to file for a NoFault divorce and make it amicable at all costs....if they dont the only party who will benefit will be the lawyers who will bleed all of the accumulated assets down as far as they can go.
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