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Can a court order supervised visitation for a parent?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2024 | Family Law |

Custody cases can come to court for various reasons, such as divorce and when an estranged parent establishes paternity. Every case is unique, but there are some common principles that the court will stick by — namely the best interests of the child.

Generally, the family court prefers both parents to be involved in the upbringing of the child. However, they may set different custody and visitation rights based on the circumstances.

Sometimes, supervised visitation is necessary. This typically means that a parent visits their child in a carefully monitored environment, where a third party can step in if necessary. When might the court order supervised visitation?

When parent and child are estranged

If a child has spent a considerable amount of time without a parent being involved in their life, then a more gradual approach to visitation may be necessary. Children need stability and no sudden changes if possible. It may disrupt the development of the child if they are thrown immediately into a relationship with an estranged parent.

Supervised visits provide a platform for parent and child to get to know each other gradually. If the visits go well, the court may increase the number of supervised visits and gradually lift the requirement for visits to be supervised at all. This will only happen when the child feels safe and a routine relationship with the parent is in their best interests.

When a parent is ill

In some cases, non-supervised visitation may be too much for both the parent and child. For example, if the parent is suffering from a physical or mental health condition, then they may need some extra support in the form of supervised visitation. Again, this is often temporary, and the requirement of supervision can be lifted if the parent makes a full recovery.,

Other reasons to order supervised visitation include these situations:

  • If there is a history of domestic violence
  • If a parent has substance abuse issues
  • If the court feels that a parent is a flight risk (taking the child with them)
  • If there is any other threat to the child’s safety

Seeking legal guidance during a custody case can help ensure that the best interests of your child are respected.