How to Write a Character Reference for Child Visitation Rights

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A relative or friend has asked you to assist him in getting child visitation rights by writing a reference letter on his behalf. If you believe that the individual has a positive influence on the child's life and that he should have a right to enjoy time with his child, you can write the letter. Basic, supporting information should be included.

Define your relationship to the individual. Facts to be included should be how long you have known her, how you know her (through work, church, neighbourhood, etc.) and how well you know her. Bring out positive attributes such as honesty, truthfulness, sincerity and dependability. Paint a positive, but true, picture of all her assets.

Give background on the individual in question. State some of the general knowledge that you are aware of, such as where he lives or works, the church he may go to and the level of education he has. If you have ever witnessed him interacting with his child, make comments on their positive meetings and include the fun they had, how well they seemed to get along and how much the child enjoyed being with him.

Emphasise the benefits to the child. Cite reasons why you think she should be allowed to see her child, give specific accounts where you feel she would be the most effective role model to the child at any given time. For example, if the child is a girl, there are specific times when a mother's guidance may be needed and necessary.

Summarise the letter. Re-emphasize the benefits to the child and state the obvious -- the visitation decision should be determined based on the benefits to and the long-term welfare of the child. The personal relationship between the two parents should not be an issue.

Thank the officials for their time and include your contact information at the closing of the letter. They may wish to contact you for further information or clarification. Make it clear that your only request is the child be reunited with the parent through visitation for the child's own welfare. Before mailing the letter, it is advisable that it be reviewed by your attorney for clarity and to ensure that there will be no liability to you for assisting in the request.

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