Is a hand written notarized letter leagally binding? 3 Answers as of July 22, 2013

Currently there is no court ordered custody in my situation. When picking up my daughter from her father this summer he had me sign a handwritten letter of which was notarized stating a date I would have her back to him. I did so for fear he would not let me take her. As I had mentioned there is no custody order. She is now 12 years old, almost 13, and does not want to return to her fathers. Her father and girlfriend is on state assistance and live a not so desirable lifestyle. Is the above mentioned letter legally binding?

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Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC
Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC | Annette M. Cox
Currently you have no custody orders established. While the "letter" could be deemed an enforceable agreement, the father would have to first file a petition to establish custody and attempt to enforce the agreement. At that point, you could outline the reasons for why you may be reluctant to permit your daughter around him (or why she is refusing to go). I would suggest talking to a lawyer for more information.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 7/22/2013
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
It is evidence of a private agreement.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/22/2013
Horton Law Firm, LLC
Horton Law Firm, LLC | Marshall L. Horton
This advice only pertains to general principles of South Carolina law and is not intended to be specific advice regarding your issue. There is one document that is binding when dealing with child custody issues: an order from a court of competent jurisdiction. Anything else is simply something that one could when attempting to obtain an order from the court.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 7/22/2013
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