Those Legal Nasty-grams

Anyone who has been involved in an ongoing, ugly court battle, especially one where coparenting issues are present, knows what a nasty-gram is.  A legal nasty-gram is a letter that your ex’s lawyer sends to you to try to intimidate you.

Usually this comes as the result of a dispute that has occurred between the parties.  Because of the time it takes to meet with, retain and have that attorney mail a letter, it may come as if out of the blue.  Maybe the dispute seemed so minor to you or it was serious at the time, but now is seems so far in the past that you have forgotten all about the incident.  All of a sudden here comes the nasty gram and it is like getting whacked in the head with a baseball bat.

These are always upsetting, to say the least.  Many a night’s sleep has been lost worrying about it until your lawyer can talk to you sometime the next day.  You will call anyone and everyone who may be able to put your mind at ease, begging and pleading for help.

Attorneys want to scare you.  They want to intimidate you.  Their client has asked for some solution and this will prompt you to respond.  The attorney knows that.  You will either agree with everything they are requesting, or you will go hire your own attorney.  Either way, you will be doing something to help the issue move forward to some kind of resolution.  That is the whole point.

If you freak out about a nasty-gram and it is late at night, no lawyer is available, you are not sure what this means, try to calm your self.  One way to do this is to realize that nothing bad is going to happen tonight.  Try to get some rest.  Even in a worse case scenario doesn’t mean it is something you will suffer from your entire.

Look at the issues as they span time.  Will this be bothering me one year, two years, three years from now?  If not, it is not worth you upsetting your life over it.  If the nasty-gram does contain language that makes it more long term, think about the worst case scenario.  Get comfortable in that worst case scenario.  Remember, none of it goes on endlessly.  In family court, eventually an end comes.  Once your children are gone, there is nothing more family court can do on your case.

If you ve a court order and the nasty-gram says something that conflicts with words in the court order, remember, a court order hold much more weight than does a letter from an opposing party’s letter.  No one of any important may ever read that letter so try not to let it bother you too much.

If your court orders have has instructions in it or talks about what the parties agreed to do in the event of a matter, the court order is what needs to happen.  for example, if your court order says that the parties will mediate prior to filing any court motions, then that is what is supposed to happen, regardless of what the other attorney says.  If you do not understand the language of an order, you are always free to seek an attorney’s opinion with (usually) a free consult, or if you have an attorney on retainer already, ask that attorney.

Do not ignore a letter from an attorney, but do not take it as the end of the world either.  It may just be someone trying to threaten, intimidate or get a reaction out of you and doing a darn good job of it!

Image: Jeroen van Oostrom /

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s