If a court has ordered that your visitations with your child be supervised by a third party, there’s likely a good reason. Typically, supervised visitation is required if a parent has a history (or has been accused) of neglect, substance abuse or violence.
If you’re facing accusations of these things by your co-parent, a judge may order supervised vision until the accusations are thoroughly investigated. Then the restriction will either be lifted or remain in place, depending on the outcome. The purpose of supervised visitation is to protect the health, safety and well-being of the child. It may feel like a punishment directed at you, but it’s not.
There are different types of supervised visitation. In some cases, a family member may be designated to supervise. In many cases, however, visitations be at a location designated for family interactions where professionals can monitor things. Every state has locations for safe visitations.
Making the most of supervised visitation
It’s understandable to be angry and frustrated about a supervised visitation order, especially if the allegations against you are untrue. Remember it’s not your child’s fault. It can be frightening for them to have to go someplace unfamiliar to see their parent.
By making the most of the situation, adhering to the rules and cooperating with the people who are just there to protect your child, you have a better chance of eventually getting increased and more independent parenting time. In the meantime, you’ll be ensuring that you can still have quality time with them – even if the circumstances aren’t what you’d like.
Here are a few tips for handling supervised visitation:
- Don’t cancel or reschedule visits unless you have no choice.
- Arrive on time and have your child ready to leave when that time is up.
- Follow all the rules of the visitation facility and its staff.
- Have activities planned that will fit into the allotted time, but be flexible if your child wants to do something else.
- Don’t argue with or criticize your co-parent when they drop off or pick up your child.
- Focus on your child throughout the visits. Don’t use this time to pump them for information about your ex, criticize them or defend yourself.
If you believe that supervised visitation is unwarranted, it’s crucial to make the strongest possible case for yourself. Having experienced legal guidance is important.