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Reasons a judge may order supervised visitation

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Child Custody

During the divorce process, the issue of parenting can be a major consideration for the courts. Depending on the circumstances, a judge may grant custody to one parent, with the other parent receiving fairly traditional parenting time rights.

In some instances, however, it may be deemed to be in the best interests of a child to have visitation rights only and to have this visitation take place under supervision.

Issues that can lead to supervised visitation orders

Here are some of the reasons a judge may order supervised visitation:

  • There is evidence of parental neglect: If there is evidence that one parent has neglected the child’s basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing or medical care, a judge may order supervised visitation to ensure the child’s safety and well-being during visits.
  • History of abuse: A judge may consider the safety of the child paramount if there is a history of abuse, whether it be physical, emotional or sexual, perpetrated by the visiting parent. In such cases, supervised visitation ensures that the child is not exposed to further harm while still allowing for a relationship with the parent under controlled and monitored circumstances.
  • Mental health concerns: In cases where the non-custodial parent has demonstrated significant mental health issues that could potentially impair their ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child during unsupervised visitation, a judge may opt for supervised visitation. This could include conditions such as severe depression, untreated bipolar disorder, substance abuse problems or any other mental health issue that may impact the parent’s judgment or behavior in a way that could endanger the child.
  • The child does not know the parent: Aside from child safety concerns, a judge may order supervised visitation if the child has had limited or no previous relationship with the non-custodial parent. This situation may arise in cases where the parent has been absent from the child’s life for an extended period, leading to unfamiliarity and potential discomfort or anxiety for the child when spending time alone with the parent.

Supervised visitation can help enhance a child’s relationship with their non-custodial parent, leading to a more stable and healthier upbringing. If you have concerns about your child with regard to their other parent, by seeking legal guidance, you can better ensure that the rights and welfare of your child are protected as you move forward.


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