SUPERVISED CHILD VISITATION & CUSTODY

BLOG

SUPERVISED CHILD VISITATION & CUSTODY

WHAT IS SUPERVISED VISITATION AND WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE? 

When there are serious and legitimate concerns regarding a child’s safety and welfare when spending time with a non-custodial parent, supervised child visitation may be appropriate.   Court ordered supervised parenting time may be requested by the custodial parent for a number of reasons – however, it is likely only going to be granted when the expressed concern in support of the request for supervised child visitation is credible.  Documented issues of ongoing substance abuse, serious psychiatric or mental health issues, or physical violence, including domestic violence in the presence of the children, are often reasons a court will enter an order requiring supervised visitation.  One parent’s generalized concerns about another parent’s parenting skills and ability, however, would not be a sufficient basis for a court to order supervised parenting time.

 

HOW DOES SUPERVISED VISITATION WORK & WHO PAYS FOR SUPERVISED VISITATION?

A typical court order for supervised parenting time will set forth a schedule and location for parenting time and designate the individual, or individuals, that may act as supervisors.  With regard to who can act as a supervisor, even in situations where a family court judge agrees with the custodial parent that supervised parenting time is necessary, the court might not automatically approve who the custodial parent wants to designate as the supervisor.  In most cases where supervised visitation is imposed, the court will make an inquiry of both parties on the issue and look to designate a supervisor or supervisors that the parties agree are capable of supervision.  It is not uncommon for the court to appoint the parents or relatives of the non-custodial parents as approved supervisors as a way to make the supervision as comfortable and least intrusive as possible.  In more serious  situations, where a friend and/or family member is not available or suitable, professional supervised parenting time services might be utilized to supervise the parenting time.  In those circumstances, the supervisors will be licensed counselors and therapists.  Where there are costs involved, those will be paid for by the non-custodial parent.  

The supervisor is required to be present during the entire parenting time.  If substance abuse is an issue, the supervisor will also be responsible for making sure the non-custodial parent is sober during the parenting time.   In some cases, the supervisor may be asked to report to the court regarding how the parenting time is going.  The supervisor also has the duty to end the supervised visitation if at any time they feel that child is being subjected to an unhealthy or unsafe situation by the non-custodial parent.  The purpose and intent of court ordered supervised parenting time, is to ensure the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent continues – while also making sure that the child is not placed in an unsafe situation or subject to erratic, harmful behavior by the non-custodial parent.

It must be noted, however, that in most instances supervised visitation is rarely ever intended to be permanent.  Most often it is  put in place temporarily to allow time for the court to investigate the concern – or, where the concern is verified – for the non-custodial parent to address the issue and, hopefully, address and resolve the concern.  In cases of drug or alcohol abuse, this could be a stretch of time furnishing consistent and ongoing clean drug and alcohol screenings.  In other cases, it could mean completing anger management classes, counseling, or obtaining a favorable evaluation showing that there is no risk present.  Generally speaking, the court will not seek to leave supervision in place indefinitely – unless it is absolutely necessary because of an extreme and significant history regarding the risks posed by the non-custodial parent.

 

DeTorres & DeGeorge Family Law attorneys are here to help you. Give us a call today to schedule a time to discuss your custody dispute and supervised visitation with an attorney.

Rosanne S. DeTorres
Ms. DeTorres is the managing partner and co-founder of DeTorres & DeGeorge Family Law. She is also only one of 150 attorneys in the State of NJ that is certified by the NJ Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. Ms. DeTorres graduated...
Share on:

knowledge & insights

Man in military uniform removing ring

Is military divorce the same as regular divorce?

Military divorce couples file for divorce using the same process that civilians use; however, when military couples divorce there are factors that have to be considered separate from routine divorce situations. While there are many similarities among a military divorce and divorces involving...

February 21, 2024 Read More

Bird house hanging from tree branch

What is bird nesting divorce?

A bird nesting divorce, also referred to as bird's nest custody, or bird nesting, is a living arrangement that allows for the children to continue to reside in the family home while the parties take turns living in the home. Bird nesting divorce is intended to keep the primary burden of the divorce...

February 13, 2024 Read More

Model home held by 2 hands

Co-owning a house after divorce

Co-owning a house after divorce, and divorcing with a house in both names, is an issue that arises when people divorce and own a home together.  Couples have to decide whether they will continue to co-own their home after their divorce.  When parties own a home and are going to divorce, the home...

February 3, 2024 Read More

Divorce: The Answers you Need – Before, During & After

Download our eBook today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

follow us
Top