How to Write a Letter to a Judge to Get My Kids Back

By Natalie Smith, Ph.D. - Updated June 05, 2017
Silhouette of Children

When you have lost custody of your children, you must prove to the court that your situation has changed to regain custody of them. Judges are hesitant to move children from parent to parent unless there is a compelling reason to do so, such as a drastic change in circumstance for one of the parents. If your children are in foster care, the same situation applies: You must prove that you are now a fit parent. The court usually requires that the parent seeking custody writes a letter explaining his or her change in circumstances.

The Introduction

Begin the letter by typing your address, without your name. Remember to type include the date, "The Honorable (first and last name of the judge)," the court's name and the court's address on subsequent lines. Skip another line and type "Dear Judge (last name)" followed by a colon.

State Your Case

State your name, case or docket number, and that you are seeking to regain custody of your children. Provide the names and ages of the children. For example, "My name is Maureen McCoy; my case number is 765F. I am writing to request that I regain custody of my two minor children, Carrie McCoy, age 7, and Sean McCoy, age 13."

Describe What's Changed

Detail the reasons why your circumstances have changed. For example, if your children were removed from your custody due to a drug problem, state the date you completed rehab, how long you have been clean, and any other positive steps you have taken to make your life better.

Request a Hearing

Request a hearing to evaluate your suitability for regaining custody. State that you are willing to cooperate with the court on any conditions that it sees fit to place on you, such as a home visit or that you submit to regular drug testing, for example.

Closing the Letter and Things to Remember

Thank the judge for his or her time. Provide your telephone number and e-mail address in case the judge needs to contact you in regard to your case. Close the letter by typing "Sincerely," and skip three line spaces. Type your full name. Print the letter and sign your name above your typed name in blue or black ink.

Remember to retain a copy of the letter for your records. Mail the original via registered mail so you have confirmation of the date and time the court received your letter.

About the Author

Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article