Custody rules are designed to protect the health, well-being and best interests of the child and for the child to grow and maintain their relationship with both parents. Ideally, both parents might have an equitable visitation schedule.

However, sometimes, the court may perceive that one of the parents may come with risks that require more protection for the child. In such cases, the court will sometimes require that visitation by one parent be supervised by a third party.

How the Court Defines Supervised Visitation

Supervised visitation is when the non-custodial parent is only allowed to spend time with a child when a third party can supervise.

Supervised custody rules can vary depending on the situation. In some cases, that means parent and child are not allowed to be alone together at any time. In other cases, the third-party supervising may "monitor" the visitation by checking in occasionally. In more lenient situations, all that is required is a "check-in" with the supervising third party before and after the visitation.

In most cases, however, supervised visitation requires the third party to be physically present for the duration of the visit.

When is Supervised Visitation Necessary?

The court's mandate is to protect the health and well-being of the child. Supervised visitation is a way to mitigate risk and safeguard the child while at the same time allowing that child to have a relationship with his or her parent.

The court may require supervised visitation if:

  • The parent's home is considered an unsafe living environment.
  • The court deems someone is a flight risk. A supervised visit may be necessary to prevent kidnapping.
  • There are addiction or mental health issues with the visiting parent.
  • There are abuse or neglect allegations.
  • The parent has been long absent from the child's life and seeks to establish a relationship with the child.
  • The child is at risk for parental alienation, a circumstance in which one parent uses manipulative means to psychologically turn a child against the other parent.


Who Does the Supervising?

Who supervises is at the court's discretion. Often, the court appoints a professional provider, like a social worker or child development expert. Usually, in these cases, the parent who is being supervised must pay for any professional fees. Sometimes, the court may appoint a mutually trusted third party, such as a relative, to supervise. When friends or relatives are supervisors, then there is no professional fee.

Can I Ask for Supervised Visitation for the Non-Custodial Parent?

Yes. An experienced attorney can help you make a case for supervised visitation if you have appropriate grounds.

Keep in mind that supervised visitations usually aren't a permanent condition. In many situations, supervised visitations are only required for a limited time. If the supervisor positively assesses these visitations, the court may lift the restriction after a hearing. Part of the purpose of supervised visitations is to give the non-custodial parent an opportunity to improve.

If the non-custodial parent does not improve or the situation worsens, supervised visits may go on indefinitely.

Park Family Law Can Help

Do you feel a supervised visitation restriction would be the best for your child? To help you obtain the best results, call the attorneys at Park Family Law.

Whether you need an experienced mediator to amicably and efficiently settle your case or an aggressive litigator to get you the best results in court, Park Family Law can assist you every step of the way.