When Is Supervised Visitation Necessary?

October 14, 2019

In custody cases, parents often share custody and/or visitation rights, which are agreed upon with help from child custody lawyers in Miami, FL. However, when one parent is deemed unfit—whether that’s due to allegations of substance abuse, domestic violence or otherwise—a judge may decide that supervised visitation is in the best interests of the child. Supervised visitation may take place at a designated visitation facility, which could be the home or a specialized facility, and another adult such as a family member or social worker watches over the whole interaction.

Circumstances That Lead to Supervised Visitation

Supervised visitation is designed to keep the parent/child relationship intact, while looking out for the health and safety of the child. Ideally, every set of divorced parents could co-parent amicably, but the reality is that some parents are unfit, whether temporarily or permanently. Some of the most common reasons to order supervised visitation include:

  • Domestic violence: This includes emotional abuse, physical and sexual abuse and/or verbal abuse, either directed toward the other parent or the child.
  • Substance abuse: Drugs and alcohol can contribute to or cause unstable and dangerous environments for children.
  • Uncontrolled mental illness: If a parent poses a danger to their child due to their uncontrolled mental illness, a judge may decide supervised visitation is necessary until circumstances change.
  • Neglect and absence: It only makes sense that if one parent has neglected their child, the courts will not look kindly on leaving said child alone with the parent. Similarly, if a parent is just now meeting their child after being absent for an extended period of time, a judge may decide supervision is helpful for the child’s comfort and safety.
  • Other potentially dangerous family situations: Sometimes it’s not the parent who is the main danger, but someone they live with or refuse to cut ties with who poses the biggest threat to the child.

How a Supervised Visit Works

The judge will specify a visitation schedule and how the visits are to proceed. For example, judges can decide where the visits will take place and who will monitor the visit. This could be a social worker, a family member or even a hired professional.

The supervising adult will stay present throughout the visit, then return the child to the custodial parent at the end of the specified time.

Does Supervision Ever End?

After a judge has deemed supervised visitation is necessary and has filed a court order, the order will remain in place until one of the parents can prove that circumstances have changed. At that point, the parent can request that the order be modified.

Some examples of when an order might be modified include one parent moving, successful completion of a rehab or counseling program and other occurrences where the parent’s suitability has changed.

At the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler, we are here to help you through every aspect of the divorce and custody legal process. Our team of experienced child custody lawyers in Miami, FL is here to assist you. You can get started with an appointment by giving our office a call today.

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