Common Questions About Supervised Visitation

There are some cases in which a parent may be ordered to supervised visitation. When this happens, the non-custodial parent is able to visit with his or her child, but only with a court-approved, neutral third party present. The role of this party is to ensure that the child is safe during the visit. Here are questions and answers concerning supervised visitation, as explained by the Orange County Superior Court:

Why is supervised visitation ordered by the court?

Supervised visitation is usually only temporary, and it is typically ordered by the court in order to give the non-custodial parent the chance to work through certain issues. For example, the court might require supervised visitation for a parent who was accused of domestic violence, child abuse or child neglect. In other cases, this type of visitation might be used to ease the child back into the parent-child relationship when such a relationship is just being reestablished (such as after a long absence by the parent).

Who will the supervised visitation provider be?

The person who supervises the visits might be a professional provider who charges for his or her services, or it might be a non-professional, such as family member or friend. It will be up to the court to decide what the most appropriate option will be. If the provider is a relative or friend, this should be someone who will be able to remain impartial.

What can I expect to happen during a supervised visit?

When you are undergoing a supervised visit with your child, you should expect that the supervision provider will be there at all times during your visitation hours. This individual will not only be listening to your conversation, but that individual will also be watching your child closely to see how he or she reacts to the encounter. If the provider believes that there is any risk to your child's wellbeing, he or she may choose to end the visit early.

What can I do to help create a more successful supervised visit with my child?

Whether someone is the custodial parent or the non-custodial parent who is subject to supervised visitation, there are things that he or she can do to create a healthier experience for the child during this time. Here are some tips that can apply to either parent:

  • Make sure you are fully aware of the terms of the visitation agreement beforehand, and follow those terms!
  • (For custodial parent) Explain to your child what will happen during these visits, and when and where they will occur. This helps the child to be emotionally prepared.
  • Be at your visit on time, or have your child ready for the visit at the appropriate time.
  • Try to avoid sending messages to other parent through your child.

At The Hunter Law Group, we know that dealing with supervised visitation can be very difficult, both for parents and for children. If you have further questions about how supervised visitation works in Orange County or the state of California, our Mission Viejo divorce attorney can provide you with the information you need. Contact us today!