Custody battles in a divorce can often become contentious when both parents
have a vested interest in keeping their children in their lives. Because
courts and experts agree that the best case scenario for children is to
have their parents remain as a part of their lives, most decisions will
include some form of shared custody or visitation rights. In certain cases
however, the court may decide that the best option is to restrict visitation
rights by requiring supervision for one parent.
Supervised visitation is designed to allow parents in high risk or high
conflict situations to continue to see their children in a safe environment.
It is designed to protect the children from potentially dangerous situations
without completely removing the parent from their lives. A court may impose
these restrictions for a variety of reasons:
Abandonment: If a parent has failed to establish a relationship with their children,
the judge may require supervised visitation.
Abduction: If a parent has abducted their children or taken them out of the state
without permission in the past, if there is a strong possibility of it
happening in the future, or if the parent has repeatedly threatened to
abduct their children, the court may place restrictions on their visitation
rights in order to prevent an abduction.
Abuse: Whether physical or emotional, if a parent has a history of abusing their
children, the court may order supervised visitation. Some signs that are
taken into consideration when determining whether or not a parent is causing
emotional distress to their children include bed wetting, stuttering,
poor school performance, and unusual behavior.
Addiction: If the parent has a history of substance abuse issues that lead to the
use of abusive language, driving under the influence, or mistreatment
of the child, restricted visitation may be implemented by the court.
Child’s Preference: In California, a child 14 years or older has the right to state their
preferences in court. The court may take their preference for supervised
visitation into account when making their decision.
Incarceration: If the court determines that visiting a parent who is in jail negatively
affects the child’s wellbeing, they may limit or even suspend visitation
rights until the parent is released from prison.
Supervised visitation can include requiring the other parent to be present
during all visits. If the parent is unwilling or unable to act in a supervising
role, the court may allow an approved third party to supervise the visits,
and they may require the visits to take place in a public area, or at
a local agency that can facilitate the court-ordered visitation.
Determining custody is a major part of many divorce proceedings, so it’s
important to have an experienced attorney who can provide you with the
legal guidance you need. At James D. Madden, Attorney at Law, our child
custody lawyers understand the best way to approach these issues. Contact
our firm today for a
free case review, or give us a call at (909) 992-0188 to set up a meeting.
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