How to Write a Letter of Recommendation to a Family Court

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Writing a letter of recommendation to a family court can be a difficult task for a person who has never written this type of letter before. Following an outline or template can be helpful when writing a formal letter for the court. A letter of recommendation should always be written in support of an individual and should never be viewed as an opportunity to make disparaging remarks about the individual's character. If you find yourself uncomfortable vouching for a person, simply tell them you are not able to write the letter. Negative written comments about an individual can expose the writer to a lawsuit.

Clarify the purpose of the letter by asking questions about why the letter is needed. Family court gets involved with family issues like child custody, domestic abuse and divorce, to name a few. Given the sensitive nature of this subject matter, it is important to understand the goal of the letter request. If you are asked to write a letter for a friend who is battling over child custody issues in a divorce case, then your letter should focus on how you know him as a parent.

Use an outline or template to design the letter. Samples of recommendation letters are available on the Internet and in the library. The first paragraph should explain the relationship you have with the individual and how long you have known him. The second paragraph should say something positive about his character as it relates to the reason for the letter. A good end to the letter might be about how much you trust him or consider him to be responsible.

Prepare a cheat sheet to be used in the letter. Write down all the positive qualities you know about the individual as they relate to the pertinent subject matter. Your notes might say, I believe he is a good father because I see him at the ball park watching and cheering his son on as he plays baseball. Another note might say, he is always eager to get involved in PTA activities to raise funds for his son's school.

Write the letter. Use the outline and notes to begin the letter. With a good recommendation letter template, a writer can plug in specific words and experiences from their notes and compose a well-written letter. Be sure to make the letter your own by adding or subtracting phrases or words that don't seem to fit with the purposes of this specific letter.

Proofread the letter. Use spell check on your computer to check for spelling and grammar errors. Read the letter several times to catch the errors that spell check misses. Have a trusted friend or relative read the letter to provide additional feedback or a second pair of eyes to check the grammar.The quality of the writing reflects on the recommendation. If you have nice stationery available to print the letter on, that would add a nice professional touch.



About the Author

Belinda Tucker has been a professional writer since 1983. She has published articles in "Surviving Career Transitions," Healthy by Choice," Eleanor's Eyes" and "Congestive Heart Failure." Tucker holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial management from Georgia Institute of Technology.