Dealing with a biased family law judge

Divorce attorney Jason BowmanQuestion:

I am representing myself pro se in my divorce case. I am submitting a motion requesting the court set aside my child support and alimony arrears.

How can I ensure that this motion will not be heard by the same biased judge who originally entered the order?


First let me preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed in the state of Washington, so I am unable to provide you with any specific advice as I am unfamiliar with Washington’s statutes and rules.

Each state has different rules of civil procedure and different local rules regarding which court and which judge a particular case is assigned to. Usually, the original court will continue to be the proper court moving forward for any post-dissolution motions.

If you feel that a judge is biased in the case, you may be able to file a motion to change judges (some jurisdictions allow this to occur once) or you may file a motion to recuse a judge (the standard to do this will vary from state to state).

Your local rules and rules of civil procedure will control the proper procedure for doing this in your case. You should consult an attorney in your local jurisdiction as they will be knowledgeable about the requirements and procedures that you must adhere to.


Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky, office of Cordell & Cordell. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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