How to write a temporary custody letter

Updated March 23, 2017

A temporary custody letter is a document written when a person or couple grants temporary custody of a child to a friend or relative when the parent will be gone for a period of time. A couple may also write a temporary custody letter if involved in a divorce or to solve a custody issue outside of the courtroom. This is primarily done to avoid the costs of paying an attorney to complete the letter. A temporary custody letter is a legal document that gives a specified person custody of a child temporarily.

Date and address the letter. Present the date the letter is written on the very top right-hand side of the page. On the left side, type the person's name the letter is to, along with the person's address. The person the letter is addressed to is the person being granted temporary custody.

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.

State the dates of the temporary custody; specifically list which dates the temporary custody begins and ends.

Include the specific reason for this right being granted to the person. Common reasons are because you are working on an out-of-town work project for a period of time, being sent on a military assignment, or because you are involved in divorce proceedings. A couple going through a divorce may use this to give custody rights to one specific parent while the divorce is pending.

Give permission to allow medical treatment. This is an important aspect that should always be included in a letter of this type. The person receiving temporary custody of a child should have permission to take the child to the doctor or hospital if the child becomes sick or injured.

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

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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.