The bond involving a parent and child is often very strong. That is why courts often grant visitation rights to non-custodial parents in order to foster that parent-child bond. However, what if the custodial parent feels that their child is not safe being visited by the non-custodial parent? If the non-custodial parent has legally enforceable parenting time, you cannot refuse to let them see the child or else they might take legal action. So the best solution in this case is for the custodial parent to request for supervised visitation. Read on for more insight.
As the custodial parent, you should talk to a family law attorney if you have concerns about visitation. Your attorney can ask the family court to have the non-custodial parent's visitation time be supervised by a person appointed by the court. Supervised visitation is typical in cases involving abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse or neglect. It is also suitable when reintroducing the non-custodial parent to the life of the child after a duration of zero communication. The non-custodial parent can spend time with the child in a safe and monitored location to make sure the parent's rights are exercised and the child enjoys the bonding session with his or her parent, while guaranteeing the overall safety of the child.
If you request for supervised visitation, you should be familiar with the following things:
Typically, courts offer supervised visitation on a temporary basis. If the visitations proceed well and the supervisor sees no cause for alarm, the limitation for supervised visitation can be lifted following a review hearing. Moreover, the restriction may also be revoked if the non-custodial parent completes specific steps that he or she was instructed to do, for example, attending domestic violence classes or undergoing substance abuse therapy.
Best interest of the child
Supervised visitations are only awarded in the best interest of the child. As earlier mentioned, supervised visitation increases the child's safety; however, it has its disadvantages. It restricts the time and location where the child and parent will spend time together. Moreover, the supervisor has to be present, which may hinder the parent-child connection in some respects. Therefore, the family court may not order supervision of the parenting time without initially factoring in whether or not it will actually help the child.
Last but not least, the custodial parent is expected to present concrete evidence before the family court that supervised visitation would be in the best interest of the child. Therefore, you must show up in court ready to provide evidence for your supervised visitation request. Talk to a family law attorney to help you with this.