How to Write a Temporary Custody Letter

By Jennifer VanBaren - Updated April 03, 2017
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Assigning temporary custody of your children to a trusted family member of friend can provide peace of mind when you are unable to care them for a period of time. Writing a letter assigning temporary custody will suffice for taking care of many basic needs, such as obtaining medical care or handling school matters. To formalize the letter, use the services of a notary public to authenticate the document.

Formatting the Letter

Date and address the letter., and type the name, address and telephone number of the temporary guardian as well as your contact information. Include the names of all children included in the request as well as their birthdates. After the biographical information is complete, briefly state the purpose of the letter and indicate the reason for the temporary guardianship, such as extended out-of-town travel or health issues, and the period of time it will cover with specific start and end dates.

Expanding on Health Care

Temporary custody arrangements allow the new guardian to assume many of the responsibilities of a parent, including seeking medical treatment. To help ensure problems do not crop up, make the agreement as specific as possible by incorporating key details regarding your children into the document. List all current doctors, dentists and pharmacists for the child as well as treatments prescribed and contact information for the health care professionals. Indicate the temporary guardian has permission to seek treatment from these individuals as well as all other health care providers as deemed necessary and has decision making authority in a medical emergency.

Detailing School Permissions

If your child attends school, also detail the school information on the custody letter. List your child's grade and address specific rights you want the guardian to have, such as providing permission for field trips, extracurricular activities or signing off on disciplinary action. You may also want to include a blanket disclaimer stating the guardian also has permission to approve actions not specified in the agreement.

Write the purpose of the letter. Begin the letter by giving permission to this person to care for your child; include the child’s full name. If there is more than one child, include all names.

Finalizing the Agreement

Sign the letter with your name. For extra legal protection, have the document notarized by a public notary. This is not required, but is an extra precaution many people choose.

About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

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