What is Supervised Visitation?

When certain conditions exist between a parent and children, a judge might determine that supervision is required during visits. A judge assigns a neutral third party to be present at the time of visits in order to create a safe environment for visits to take place.

A judge might order supervised visitation under the following conditions:

  • Abuse - If there is a history of physical, psychological or sexual abuse between the parent and the child, any visitation the court allows is likely to require supervision. Supervised visits might also be ordered if there has been abuse of one parent and not the child, or if the child just feels unsafe meeting the parent alone.
  • Neglect or abandonment - If a long period has elapsed since the child saw the parent, a period of supervised visitation might be ordered to ease the transition of the parent back into the child's life.
  • Mental illness or substance abuse - If the parent has been through a period of instability, supervised visitation can serve as a bridge to normalcy for the parent-child relationship.
  • Threat of harm or abduction - If the custodial parent suspects that the visiting parent might try to isolate the child or abscond with the child, a judge might order supervised visitation until the threat can be disproven.
  • Need to air concerns - A custodial parent might request that visitation be supervised in order to air complaints or concerns that the parent has around the shared parenting arrangement. Sometimes a child raises issues that may illuminate details of an inappropriate situation in the non-custodial parent's home or an unhealthy dynamic between the parent and child.

Supervised visits usually take place in a neutral space that is easily accessible to each parent. If there is a history of abuse in the family, the supervisor should alert police as to where and when the visits are taking place so as to shorten emergency response time should the need arise.

If you are uncomfortable with your ex-spouse seeing your children unsupervised for any reason, discuss this with a skilled divorce attorney. Supervised visitation might be the best solution for your family. Call the Law Office of Steven M. Bishop in San Diego at 619-299-9780 or contact us online.

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