Do Your Child Need Supervised Visitation?

If you have a custody case in front of the courts, there are several different visitation options the court may choose. But if you have concerns about your child's health or safety when in the other parent's presence, your family lawyer may ask for supervised visitation. While some reasons for supervised visitation are apparent, others may not. What is supervised visitation, and when should your family attorney ask the judge to make this choice? Here are a few suggestions.

What Is Supervised Visitation?

Supervised visitation is when a person is only allowed to spend time with their child when someone else is present to watch their interactions. This type of visitation is normally court-ordered when the court feels that the child may not be safe alone with the parent. The supervising person may be a professional or another court-appointed family member. For example, the following people may supervise the visits.

  • Social worker
  • Therapist
  • Child development professional
  • Grandparent
  • Foster parent

The visits may occur in a professional environment such as the Department of Family Services or the therapist's office. Still, they may also take place in the grandparent's or foster parent's home. The court will usually outline the rules of the supervised visits with input from both of your family law attorneys. 

When Should You Request Supervised Visitation?

Sometimes the court may order supervised visits without your family lawyer making the request. At other times, the supervision may be a part of the petition you place in front of the court. Some reasons you may petition to have the visits supervised are as follows.

Abuse or NeglectThe safety of your children should be your first and foremost concern. If there have been any allegations of abuse or neglect against the other parent, or someone they may live with, you may have grounds for supervised visitation. 

Substance AbuseSupervised visitation may be appropriate if the other parent has a history of substance abuse or addiction or lives in an environment where others may have substance abuse issues. 

Domestic ViolenceSupervised visits may be appropriate if the other parent has engaged in domestic violence against you or in the presence of the children. 

Fear of FlightDo you have a realistic fear that if your child's other parent has unsupervised visits, they will disappear with your child? Unfortunately, this may not be an unrealistic fear. An estimated 200,000 child abductions take place each year by a parent. These families are usually in the midst of a divorce or custody battle. Be prepared to explain to the court why you fear parental abduction. 

For more info, contact a local professional like Charles E. Craft, Attorney at Law.