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Supervised Visitation With Parents And Relatives

Family relationships can be complex. In some cases, during a custody hearing, a judge might order that visitation between a parent and child to be supervised by a third party. This person creates a buffer between the parent and child to establish a sense of safety while the two work on building their relationship. 

A judge might order supervised visitation when: 

  • There has been a significant period of absence, alienation or imprisonment.
  • A parent has been addicted to drugs or alcohol.
  • There have been allegations of sexual or physical abuse.
  • There is a history of violence between the parents. 

Furthermore, a judge can order supervised visitation for family members other than the parents, if that is in the best interest of the child. 

How to arrange supervised visits 

All of the details of supervised visits should be included in your parenting plan. A supervisor can be a family member or a friend, or a professionally trained social worker. In addition to selecting a supervisor, you and your child’s second parent must agree on the following arrangements: 

  • Location of visits
  • Length of each visit
  • Transportation to and from visits
  • Payment for supervisor plus snacks, tickets to events or other relevant fees
  • How to proceed if visits are not good for the child
  • When to review the need for supervision 

If supervised visits go well and, after a certain period of time, everyone involved feels supervision is no longer necessary, you can submit a request to the court. A child is never allowed to make a determination regarding the need for supervision. 

In the event that visits cause the child a high level of anxiety or discomfort, a supervisor might recommend that visits be suspended for a period of time. While parents have the right to spend time with their children, the court is bound to protect the child’s best interest above the right of the parent, grandparent or other relative. 

Sandra Bonfiglio, P. A. is available to help you with any aspect of your parenting plan. We are proud to serve the Broward County, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale areas.

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