Q&A: Can You Write a Letter to Your Divorce Judge to Explain Something You Think the Judge Misunderstood?

A lot of divorce litigants feel that they did not get their fair shake before the judge for one reason or another. Or they come out of court realizing that they forgot important details about something.

The best thing to do is let your attorney handle it – if you have an attorney. The attorney can make a motion for a rehearing or reconsideration or try to modify a pleading or something like that.

But what if you don’t have an attorney? Normally, I would say that to send an ex parte communication to the judge (when the other side did not see the communication such as the letter) by yourself is tricky; most judges won’t even read the letter to tell you the truth. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it necessarily. Depending on your circumstance, it could be worth a shot. You never know.

Make sure to type the letter rather than submit it in your handwriting. Also include the date at the top and in the “re” line, put the name of your case. You should use the salutation “Dear Judge Smith” for example (substitute “Smith” for the judge’s name, of course).

Be as brief and succinct as you can, without losing accuracy and lucidity. In other words, don’t make the letter too long as the judge could just take one look at a 3 paged, single spaced letter and conclude “this person is nuts,” and just put the letter to the side.

Again, in most circumstances, if the judge has already ruled on your case, it will be a difficult undertaking to get the judge to reconsider with a letter. But different circumstances can alter a case and judges are just people. So you never know. If you think it is worth it, take the chance and hedge your bets.

Good luck.