Saturday, March 8, 2014

Can I use 'character reference' letters in a Custody Hearing in NYC?

Q:  My ex will most likely look to discredit my good character in an upcoming Custody Hearing, as she is petitioning for sole custody. I want joint custody Instead of bashing my ex's character in court, I'd prefer to have the judge read character reference letters from neighbors, coworkers, and long time friends written on my behalf. Will the family court judge consider these references in her final ruling? Can she be given them during the hearing, or should I supply them to her before the hearing? Must they be notarized letters? thanks you for your help! I just want equal time with my son, so any advice you have will be appreciated.

A:  David's Answer:  You cannot present character reference letters at trial. You must call the persons as witnesses as only their testimony would be (potentially) admissible. Schedule a consult with a NYC Family Law attorney for a full assessment.  -- David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody attorney (

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