Losing solo visitation with your child can be scary, especially if you've
been accused of child abuse. Supervised visitation is not a punishment.
It's designed to keep your child safe while preserving your relationship
and custodial rights. Your final custody order or agreement is the best
source of accurate information about what to expect from supervised visitation.
But what if supervised visitation hasn't been ordered yet, and is
only a possibility? Here's what you should expect.
Who Can Supervise Visitation?
In most cases, you'll have to receive supervision from a person or
agency appointed by the court. Less commonly, the court might agree to
allow a responsible third party to supervise visitation. If your ex requests
supervised visitation and you think he or she might get it, you might
be able to agree to a specific supervisor before the court orders supervised
visitation. So if the person who supervises visitation matters to you,
consider negotiating with your ex.
What Does the Visitation Supervisor Do?
The visitation supervisor is not a substitute parent or baby-sitter. They
won't watch your child for you, and will not provide parenting advice.
Moreover, relying on the visitation supervisor to watch or protect your
children could undermine your ability to regain unsupervised visitation
in the future. The visitation supervisor's only job is to ensure your
child's safety. They may also provide reports to the court on how
you spend your time with your children, so ensure you provide your children
with quality parenting during supervised visitation.
Can I Regain Unsupervised Visitation?
Supervised visitation is often time-limited, meaning that the court will
revisit the matter in a time frame specified in the final order. In other
cases, you might have to petition the court to regain unsupervised visitation,
usually after meeting specific criteria outlined in the final custody
order. Before seeking a removal of supervision, you must ensure you can
provide a safe, nurturing environment to your children, and that you can
demonstrate this to the court.