Supervised Visitation

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What is supervised visitation?

Sometimes, based on issues of protection and safety, a judge will decide that in order for a child to have contact with a parent, a neutral third person must be present during any visitation. This type of third-person visitation arrangement is often called “supervised visitation.”

A judge may order visitation for many reasons, like:

  • To give the visiting parent a chance to address specific issues
  • To help reintroduce a parent and after a long absence
  • To help introduce a parent and a child when there has been no existing relationship between the parent and the child
  • When there is a history or allegations of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or substance abuse
  • When when there are parenting concerns or mental illness
  • When there is a parental threat or abduction

What is the job of the supervised visitation provider?

The provider is there to make every effort to keep your child safe and support your child in enjoying the visit with the supervised parent. The provider’s job is to make sure that the children involved in the visits are safe and free from any unnecessary stress. The provider must be present at all times during the visit, listen to what is being said, and pay close attention to the child’s behavior. If necessary the provider may interrupt or end a visit. All providers are to report suspected child abuse to the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-(800) 540-4000.

Tips for Visiting Parents

  • Read the court order
  • Arrive and depart on time
  • Avoid discussing the court case or terms of the visit with your child
  • Avoid quizzing your child about the other parent’s activities and relationships
  • Say brief and positive good-byes to your child when the visit is over

Tips for Custodial Parents

  • Read the court order
  • Explain to your child were and when the visits will take place
  • Have your child ready on time and be prompt
  • Reassure your child that you support him or her in having a pleasant visit
  • Avoid quizzing your child about the visit
  • Avoid making your child a messenger to the other party