December 11th, 2013, 02:11 PM #1
Character reference letter for family court?
In a nutshell, a couple that my wife and I have been close friends with for over 15 years are getting a divorce. We want to be there for both of them and especially their kids and have told both of them that we do not want to be put in a position where we have to pick sides. Today, the husband who asked me if I was willing to write a letter of reference for family court for him. I told him I would need to think about it and asked if I do it where do I send it. He said that he would like it emailed to himself. I found that odd as I always thought those letters went straight to the judge or mediator.
Both of them have their issues, but in the past 15+ years I have known them I can attest to their love for their kids and being there for them as good parents. I don't know what to do. Just looking for some feedback from people outside of my circle. Sometimes the anonymity on this site is good!
December 11th, 2013, 02:15 PM #2
I would do it, you're not going to bash his spouse in the letter. Be honest and write exactly what you said in your post that he is a great parent and a good friend. He is not asking for anything more.
December 11th, 2013, 02:15 PM #3
Being a mom that went through a very NASTY divorce, I will tell you, if you want to maintain your friendship with either party, do not write that letter. The best advice I can give you is to talk to them and tell them that if they are the great parents that you know them to be, then you suggest they find a way to come to a child custody agreement between themselves and/or with the help of a court appointed mediator.
Lots more to say but I gotta get some work done....
December 11th, 2013, 02:19 PM #4
I say DON'T do it. You will get stuck in the middle.
December 11th, 2013, 02:24 PM #5
What Ice24 says is true - to you and me and any other outsider. While you are not going to bash her, it's still going to be seen as taking a side.
Originally Posted by Ice24
If it were me, I wouldn't do it. Remind them that you said you would not choose sides at all. With his need for a character reference, it tells me there are darker things involved here that you do not - and should not - know about. I hate to say it, but it leads me to believe that this is going to be a bitter one, and that you will likely lose the relationship of one or other (or both), whether you write the letter or not. Writing the letter won't ensure the salvaging of the relationship with him. In fact, it is more likely to damage it.
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.
December 11th, 2013, 02:25 PM #6
I have experience in this subject that I wish I did not have. as most of you know Im going threw this very same thing. I have over 25 writin statements for me from friends of both me and my wife as well as professional firefighters and law enforcement friends. They do help if all the facts are true with the childeren. But talking to both of them in this matter so you dont creat waves may be important. The judge will only care about one thing and thats the best intrest for the kids. Your friends have a real tuff road ahead of them and for whats its worth time will heal all things. Trust me I know. I truly hope things work out for yer friends and I will be praying for them both and the kids.
Originally Posted by 16scores
December 11th, 2013, 02:27 PM #7
Rough spot, be honest and to the point if you decide you have something to say. I have no idea if these types of letters would go direct to the court or not. I would certainly avoid anything that would be in comparison to the spouse as the odds are they may ask for a letter as well. I see no problem in writing them both letters if you feel they are both worthy. Just remember that you might not be able to stay friends with both not by your choice.
December 11th, 2013, 02:42 PM #8
I have never been through something like this before, however, are you picking sides if you write down a few good things about your friend? If you don't say anything about the spouse are you creating a mess? This is a character letter about your friend. It doesn't seem to me that you are picking sides. If the spouse comes to you and asks for a letter and you believe she is a good person and a good parent you could do the same for her.
The part that he wants his buddy to send him the letter first seems a little odd that he might not trust what you are going to say about him. This is a tough situation and I don't want anybody to have to go through but this happens quite a bit as I have seen in some of the comments. As long as your not picking sides and you are able to send the letter directly to the court I think it is ok. This is a tough situation any way you look at it, but your friend needs a little help right now.
December 11th, 2013, 02:55 PM #9
If you're submitting something on his behalf, his wife will definitely view it as you taking sides. Don't make the mistake of intellectualizing what is primarily an emotional situation.
If you wrote something that was honest and complimentary of both of them, about how they were both good parents, said as many nice things about her as him, would this satisfy your firend? If not, he is definitely asking you to take sides too.
December 11th, 2013, 02:56 PM #10
And if they reconcile, you look like an idiot. Lose/Lose