When the parents of minor-aged children divorce, the plans to deal with issues pertaining to them are referred to as the parenting plan. Parenting plans cover important considerations like custody, child support, visitation plans, health insurance coverage for the child, and more. In some cases, the non-custodial parent takes actions that can call for an adjustment in visitation. The first step toward protecting the child from the negative actions of a parent can be visitation that has to be supervised by a third party. To find out more about this problem and how it's handled, read on.
Bad Parental Behavior
Family court officers are understandably reluctant to alter a visitation agreement that seems to be working fine. Since visitation agreements are predicated on the hope that a divorce will have less of a negative effect on a child that gets to spend time with both parents, you must show otherwise to have it altered. Take a look at a few problematic situations that might prompt an adjustment in a visitation agreement that could turn unsupervised visitation into supervised visitation:
- Mental illness
- Physical or mental abuse of the child
- Drug and/or alcohol abuse
- Criminal acts
- Parental kidnapping
Some of the above actions may go beyond what may be remedied using supervised visitation. Supervised visitation should be considered an intermediary action that stops short of the ultimate penalty for wrongdoing by a non-custodial parent – the total loss of parental rights.
How Supervised Visitation Works
The custodial parent might be consulted about who should do the supervision but they are never chosen for this task. In most cases, a close relative or acquaintance is chosen for the job. Here are some other things to know about supervised visitation:
- Public areas like playgrounds and parks are usually chosen as the designated location for visitation.
- Overnight visitations are not allowed.
- The third party must keep the child in their sights at all times during the visitation; however, they may be located some distance away as to foster privacy and the relationship between the parent and the child.
- Along with supervised visitation, some parents are ordered to undergo counseling or take parenting classes in an effort to address their behavior.
- There is always an opportunity for the visitation to revert back to unsupervised given enough time and behavior adjustments on the part of the parent.
Speak to your family law attorney to learn more about supervised visitation.