Child Custody Child Visitation Divorce Family Law

Child Visitation Supervision

Often times a court will rule one parent has “supervised child visitation” rights. Type of supervision will fall under two categories: nonprofessional and professional. Here’s what it means for visitation to be “supervised.”

“Supervised Child Visitation”

California’s law governing child custody awards is based on protecting the best interest of a child. Because of these, a judge will sometimes rule that a child only have contact with a parent when a neutral third party, or supervisor, is present. Thus, “supervised” visitation.

Reasons for Ruling for Supervision

A judge may decide on supervised visitation for many reasons. These can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • A visiting parent might need an opportunity to address a specific issue.
  • When a parent and child are reintroduced after a long period of absence.
  • When a parent is first being introduced to a child
  • When a parent has a history of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or substance abuse.
  • When concerns about mental illness have been expressed
  • When there is a potential abduction threat.

In addition to a “supervised” ruling, the court will also order specific times and durations for the meetings. The court will also specify what type of supervision will be required during the visits: either professional or non-professional.

Professional and Non-Professional Supervision

There are two types of supervision: professional and non-professional. Non-professional providers are usually family members or friends. A professional provider is trained and experienced in child visitation visits. For a fee or service, they attend the visits. They also follow a standard uniform of practice.

A provider’s main purpose for attendance is to keep the child or children safe during the visit. They must not only be present the entire time, but are also required to listen to what is being said, while also closely monitoring the child’s or children’s behavior. If the supervisor deems it necessary, they are able to interrupt or end a visit. They are required by law to report suspected child abuse.


Source: California Courts, Supervised Visitation, 2014

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

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