A temporary guardianship letter is a legal document and needs to be written correctly. This type of letter is often used by a single parent who does not have a co-parent to take care of their children if one parent needs to be away for some time.
Grandparents may be able to give a child a loving home if the parents are away, but a temporary guardianship letter is essential in the event the child requires medical attention or needs to be admitted to a hospital. Without this document, even the grandparents will not be able to get medical help.
The most common reasons temporary guardianship is granted is because the parent or parents are:
- Going through divorce proceedings
- Going away for work, jail or medical treatment
- Going on a military assignment
Before writing the letter, it is recommended to talk to the temporary guardians first. If a grandparent is not available, then the parent needs to select a trusted adult who has the facilities to care for a child and with whom the child is comfortable.
Once the trusted person is selected, he or she should be formally asked if they would be willing to take on the responsibility.
All of the legal ramifications should be made very clear, and the trusted adult should understand all the details including food allergies, sleeping arrangements and the administration of over-the-counter medications.
When all of the conditions are met, the arrangement can be made formal with a letter giving temporary guardianship.
State The Reason For The Letter
The letter should be addressed to the person who is being granted temporary custody. It should state the reason for the letter and give permission to the addressee to have guardianship over the sender’s child or children in the beginning.
The child’s full name should be stated. The letter should also state the exact dates for which the guardianship is being granted. For example, it should state from DATE to DATE.
The letter needs to give details about what the guardian can and cannot do. The specific reason the guardianship is being granted should be stated as well as specific permission for medical treatments, school trips or any other activity that may be required during the time period.
The letter should also state where the parent or parents will be and give a contact number or address. It should contain a doctor’s and dentist’s name and contact information.
It is recommended for the parents to speak to the child’s doctor, dentist or school and give a copy of the guardianship letter, so the concerned parties are notified in advance.
Research Your State Laws
The parent should also consider the amount of time they will be away and write accordingly.
If they are going on a vacation for a few days or weeks, the letter may not need to be very formal, but if they will be away for extended periods such as six months, the letter should be very formal and explicit.
There are state laws that determine how long this type of letter is valid. In most states, a time period longer than six months requires a different type of documentation.
Here are sample temporary guardianship letters. Since it is a legal document, it should be written in formal business-letter style and sent by certified mail, so both the sender and receiver have a record of when it was sent and received. It is not mandatory, but the letter may also be notarized as an extra legal precaution.
Sample 1 - Temporary Guardianship Letter For Medical
City, State, Zip Code
City, State, Zip Code
RE: Temporary Guardianship of minor child, Name of Child
This letter is a legally binding document that grants temporary guardianship of [Name of Child] to [Name of Guardian]. From [DATE] to [DATE], the guardianship will be in force.
During this time, [Name of Guardian] will be able to make any decisions on medical treatments or other types of permission that the child need.
We will be in India on business during the time period specified in this letter and will not be able to make decisions about our son’s medical treatment.
You can reach us at [Hotel Address], [Hotel Phone Number], or by email at [Email Address].
[Name of Doctor] is the child’s doctor, and her phone number is [Phone Number]. [Name of Dentist] is the name of the child’s dentist, and his phone number is [Phone Number]. Both doctors will receive a copy of this letter.
Sample 2 - Temporary Guardianship Letter For Grandparents
William and Elizabeth Smith
120 Jisco West Rd.
Jackson, Ohio 45640
Kimberly and Jamie Harr
98745 St. Rt. 149
Rosemount, Ohio 45662
Re: Temporary Guardianship of Minor Child, Adreauna Smith
From William and Elizabeth Smith: We entrust our daughter, Andrea Ford, to her grandparents, Jamie and Kimberly Harr, from [DATE] to [DATE].
This Temporary Guardianship Letter will act as a legal and enforceable document, allowing them to seek medical treatment and make choices about our child’s needs during this time.
For the dates listed above, we will be in Europe on business. During these times, we will be unable to offer medical treatment or attend to the needs of our children.
We provide temporary guardianship to Jamie and Kimberly Harr, trusting in them good faith to make judgments about our child’s care.
7890 Piccadilly Square, London, England is the address of the hostel where we will be sleeping. +44 20 8988 8300 is the phone number there.
Because London is five hours ahead of the United States, care must be taken when phoning from there.
Jill Neff of McCarty Lane Pediatrics in Jackson is the child’s doctor. 555-286-5245 is their phone number.
Dr. Rebo of Rebo Health Professionals is Adreauna’s dentist, and his phone number is 555-286-0989. Both sites will have a copy of this letter on file.
William and Elizabeth Ford
Sample 3 - Temporary Guardianship Letter For Travel
[Name of the Child’s Parent or Parents or Legal Guardian]
[Address of the Child’s Parent or Parents or Legal Guardian]
[City, State, Zip Code]
Re: Temporary Guardianship for Travel
To Whom It May Concern:
We, [parents or legal guardians’ full names], are the lawful guardians of [child’s full name]. [DATE OF BIRTH] is his/her birthday. [NUMBER] is his passport number, and it expires on [DATE].
Our son or daughter is taking [NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON] to New York with his high school theatre class to see a Broadway show.
We agree that our son or daughter may travel to New York on [DATE] and return to Charlottesville on [DATE]. If you have any queries about this consent, please contact us at:
[FATHER’S NAME: phone number, email address]
[MOTHER’S NAME: phone number, email address]
[City, State, Zip Code]
Thank you for your kind consideration in this matter.
[Signature of father]
[Printed full name of the father]
[Signature of mother]
[Printed full name of the mother]
Notarization is required if the child is traveling alone and in the care of airline staff