When a couple separates and they have a child in common, it may be difficult for them to work through child custody issues. In some situations, it is necessary for the parent without custody to have supervised visitation with the child.
Supervised visitation may be necessary where there is a concern about the child’s well-being while in the care of the noncustodial parent. Usually, supervision involves a third party who will observe the visit and may make notes for the court. Supervision is intended to be temporary in most situations.
Reasons for supervised visitation
One of the most common reasons for supervised visitation is when the court believes the child’s safety could be at risk. This could be because the noncustodial parent has a history of abusing or neglecting the child, had substance abuse problems or there is domestic violence in the home. Supervised visitation can ensure that the child is not harmed or exposed to dangerous substances while in their noncustodial parent’s care.
The court may also order supervised visitation where one or both parents have mental health issues, in situations where one parent is trying to interfere with the other parent’s relationship with the child, or where the court believes the parent lacks sufficient experience to adequately care for the child.
If the parent previously abandoned the child, the court may order supervised visitation to ensure that there is a responsible adult present to meet the child’s needs.
The court may appoint a professional agency that specializes in supervision, a trusted family member or friend, or may assign a social worker to observe the visit.