All About Supervised Visitation

If you are not permitted to spend time with your children after a divorce or after you have been convicted of a crime, then you may want to hire a divorce lawyer to help you argue for supervised visitation. This is a visitation agreement where the parent is only allowed to spend time with the child when there is an unbiased third party present.

This is a policy that is maintained in the state of California to protect the best interest of all children whose parents are dealing with visitation or custody matters in court. Most of the time, supervised visitation is suggested when there are questions about the child's safety and well-being when in the presence of the parent who is concerned. Judges can award supervised visitation on their own discernment after discussing with witnesses, the other parent, lawyers, and the courts.

Some of the reasons that a judge may declare supervised visitation arrangements are:

  • If the parent has threatened to abduct the children
  • If the parent and child do not have a previous existing relationship
  • If the parent has a mental illness which makes him/her unpredictable
  • If the parent and child have been away from each other for a long amount of time
  • If the parent has a history of domestic violence or child abuse
  • If the parent has been convicted of substance abuse in the past
  • If the parent is known as neglectful
  • If the parent needs to address specific issues

Many times when the court declares a parent should receive supervised visitation then that parent needs to meet with the child at a location that is declared by the judge. As well, the social worker who will supervise the visitation will be declared by the court. This means that in most situations you can't call a friend or another un-biased party to come act as the supervisor when you do your visitation.

There are times that the court may permit a parent to choose a nonprofessional provider to act as the supervised visitation moderator. In this case, the parent must prove that the friend or family member chose is impartial and will remain neutral. As well, the parent will need to evidence that the parent will only act in the best interests of the child and will make every effort to assure the safety and welfare of that child during all visitation sessions.

As a custodial parent, you will want to read the court order carefully to learn more about your specific visitation arrangements and explain to your child when and where the visitation s will take place. If you are going to allow your child to participate in supervised visitations, it is your responsibility to make sure that your child has everything he or she needs for these visits. Punctuality is key, so you will want to make sure to arrive on time to drop off and pick up your children. You will want to reassure your children that you support them and you should never quiz your child about the visitations in order to pressure him or her. Also, custodial parents can be reprimanded by the court if they start using their child as a messenger to send information to the other parent.

As a visiting parent, you will also want to read the court order and make sure to arrive at the meeting place on time. It is very important that you refrain from making your child a messenger to the other parent or quizzing your child about your former spouse's activities or actions. Also, you should say brief and positive goodbyes to your children when the visits are over in order to maintain a positive atmosphere and preserve your rights for visitation. If you want more information about visitation, then you need to discuss you situation with a San Fernando family lawyer at Cutter & Lax.