If you are a divorced custodial parent who fears for your child’s physical or emotional safety when his or her other parent exercises visitation privileges, you may wish to consider asking the court to order supervised visitation.
CustodyXchange.com explains that, as its name implies, supervised visitation means that a parent can only exercise visitation under the supervision of another qualified adult, often a child psychologist or social worker.
Supervised visitation applicability
Generally, courts tend to order supervised visitation under circumstances such as the following:
- The parent physically, sexually or emotionally abused the child in the past.
- He or she engaged in domestic violence against the other parent in the past.
- He or she has a substance abuse problem.
- He or she has a mental illness that poses a risk to the child.
- He or she has absented himself or herself from the child’s life for a significant period of time and now wants to restart the parent-child relationship.
- He or she poses an abduction or kidnapping risk to the child.
Again in general, courts tend to limit the period of time during which supervised visitation will remain in place. For instance, the court may require proof that the parent has obtained substance abuse counseling or completed an anger management course before it will lift the supervised visitation order.
All in all, supervised visitation may be the answer you seek. It ensures the safety of your child while still allowing his or her other parent to maintain a relationship with him or her. In addition, it gives you peace of mind knowing that a trusted adult will monitor the interactions between your child and his or her other parent.