Adult Supervision Required: Custody And Supervised Visitation

Law Blog

When parents divorce, someone will see to it that the child has as much contact as possible with both parents. If the parents don't agree on a plan that promotes that idea, then the courts will order it done. Sole physical custody assigned to one parent will usually result in the other parent being awarded visitation. Read on to find out what might happen when things go wrong with visitation and the resulting adjustments.

Custody and Visitation – How Things Are Supposed to Work

Unless the parents decide to go with 50/50 (or shared) parenting, one parent will be deemed the sole physical custodian of the child. The child will primarily reside with this parent, but the other parent is awarded visitation according to a schedule. In most cases, visitation is carried out without problems. Sometimes, though, problems arise that call for the visitation to be changed to supervised-only visits.

When Child Visitation (or Custody) Goes Wrong

Parental behavior is at the core of custody and visitation issues. Regardless of the plans made when the divorce was final, any issue concerning a minor-aged child is never closed and can always be altered. Proven parental behavior like some of the below may call for changing custody from parent to the other and/or changing unsupervised visitation to supervised. By the way, allegations of any of the below must be proved using evidence like witnesses, photographs, videos, police reports, and more.

  • Incarceration (visitation after being released).
  • Criminal activity.
  • Substance use and abuse.
  • Sexual, physical, or psychological abuse.
  • Mental illness.
  • Child abandonment.
  • Child abduction threats or a past history of doing so.

What Does Supervised Visitation Look Like?

All elements of a parental visit may be adjusted by the judge depending on the circumstances. That means the location, privacy, physical nearness, time, and frequency of visitation can be changed. Supervised means that a third-party person (not the other parent, however) be also present during 100% of the time spent with the child. The person may be a relative (not on the non-custodial parent's side) who is judged responsible or it might be a social worker or other court employees. The location of the visitation is often a public place like a restaurant, food court, or park, and overnight visitations are prohibited. Other common rules include:

  1. The non-custodial parent may not be the driver with the child as an occupant.
  2. No drug or alcohol use is permitted at any time during the visitation.
  3. No other third-party persons are allowed at the visitation.
  4. The location must not exceed a certain distance from the custodial parent.

And more.

Supervised visitation allows a child to safely visit with the non-custodial parent. For more information about visitation and working with a family attorney, contact a local law office.


3 November 2020

family law - impacting your life

Just as there are laws to protect us on the roads, there are laws to protect our families. Whether you are fighting for the right to see your children, or are in the beginning stages of a divorce, a lawyer can help. There are many laws and stipulations that can have a serious impact on the outcome of any family legal situation. Having a lawyer working at your side to get through a difficult time is the only way to ensure that your rights are fully protected. On this site, you will learn about some of the family laws that could be impacting your life today.