No parent wants to have their access to their child restricted or submit themselves to another adult’s scrutiny when they’re in their child’s presence – but that’s exactly what happens when you’re given only supervised visitation.
Supervised visitation isn’t the norm, but it isn’t uncommon, either. Sometimes the court will order supervised visitation out of an abundance of caution based on allegations from the other parent until there can be a deeper investigation into the issue.
What kinds of allegations can lead to supervised visitation?
The court has to make its rulings based on the “best interests of the child,” which means their emotional and physical safety are of paramount concern. Supervised visitation may be ordered when there is either proof or allegations of things like a parent’s poorly controlled or untreated mental health issues, domestic violence or substance abuse issues.
Supervised visitation is also sometimes ordered in order to help re-establish the parent-child relationship in a controlled environment after the parent and the child have been separated for a long time and the parent in question wants more parenting time.
How can you turn supervised visitation into a positive?
It can feel like the court moves excruciatingly slowly when you’re in this situation, but use this time to show the court that you are a safe, involved and trustworthy parent. This means:
- ● Commit yourself to being there for every scheduled visit and show up on time.
- ● Treat the supervising person with respect and don’t take out your frustrations on them.
- ● Focus solely on your child while you’re in visitation, so put your phone away and forget about work or your other commitments for a while.
- ● Have activities planned that you and your child can do together, whether that’s an age-appropriate video game, a book you can read, board games or a craft project.
Keep in mind that the court will likely ask the person supervising your visitation questions about your behavior with your child, and a glowing report can weigh heavily in your favor.
When you have a complicated custody situation, don’t lose heart if you’re stuck with supervised visitation for a while – but do make sure that your rights are fully protected through your representation.