Rainscourt Family Law Solicitors

What do I call the judge in the Family Court

The forms of address for judges vary from court to court, and some of them can seem quite archaic in the modern world. Standard family cases are heard in the County Court or a Magistrates Court, and will either be heard by a District Judge, Circuit Judge or Magistrates. Your case will be allocated by the court to a particular level of judge when your application is issued. You can read more about each kind of judge here.

We can advise you in each case which court you are likely to appear in and in front of what kind of judge, depending on your individual circumstances.

District judges are full-time judges who deal with the majority of cases in the county courts of England and Wales and so are heavily involved in family proceedings. Sometimes you will be heard by a Deputy District Judge, who sits for a number of days each year and works on a part time basis

Circuit judges are appointed to one of seven regions of England and Wales, and sit in the County Court within their particular region.

Magistrates will mostly deal with criminal work but they also decide many civil matters, particularly in relation to cases about children.

The High Court, Family Division, hears appeals from the Family Court as well as some more complex family law issues in the first instance, such as child abduction.

Appeals from the High Court are heard in the Court of Appeal, and  ultimately in the Supreme Court.

District Judges

Address (in correspondence)Dear…In court
District JudgeJudgeSir or Madam

Circuit judges

Address (in correspondence)Dear…In court
His Honour JudgeJudgeYour Honour
Her Honour JudgeJudgeYour Honour


Dear…In court
[name], Esq JPYour Worship, or
Sir or Madam

High Court Masters & Registrars

Office/PositionAddress (in correspondence)Dear…In court
MasterMaster (whether male or female)MasterMaster
RegistrarMr (or Mrs) RegistrarRegistrarRegistrar

High Court Judges

Office/PositionAddress (in correspondence)Dear…In court
High Court judgeThe Honourable Mr JusticeJudgeMy Lord
High Court judgeThe Honourable Mrs/Ms Justice (whether married or single)JudgeMy Lady


Court of Appeal Judge

Judges who sit in the Court of Appeal (Lords Justices of Appeal) are Privy Councillors. They are known officially as Lord Justices. They should be addressed as follows:

Address (in Correspondence)Dear…In court
The Right Honourable Lord JusticeLord JusticeMy Lord
The Right Honourable Lady JusticeLady JusticeMy Lady

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.


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