Often times, as part of a child custody ruling, a court will rule one parent has “supervised child visitation” rights. Here’s a little more information on what it means for visitation to be “supervised.”
Why “Supervised Child Visitation”?
California’s public policy on child custody is to protect the best interest of a child. And sometimes, based on what has been presented in court, a judge will rule the child only have contact with a parent when a neutral third party is present. Thus, the visitation rights are “supervised.” Reasons Behind Ruling
A judge may rule for supervised visitation for many reasons, such as:
- To allow the visiting parent an opportunity to address specific issues;
- In the case of reintroducing a parent and child after a long absence;
- In the case of introducing a parent to a child;
- A parent has a history of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or substance abuse;
- When there are concerns of mental illness; or
- If there is a parental threat of abduction.
A court will order specific times and durations for the visits. The court might also specify who will provide the supervision during these visits.
Supervised Child Visitation Providers
A supervised visitation provider’s main responsibility is to keep the child or children safe during the visit. The provider might be a family member, a friend, or a paid professional. A provider must be present at all times during the visit. Additionally, they are required to listen to what is being said, while paying close attention to the childs ‘s or children’s behavior. If the provider deems it necessary, they may interrupt or end a visit. And legally, all providers must report suspected child abuse.
Types of providers
According to law, there are 2 types of supervised visitation providers:
- Nonprofessional providers – usually family or friend who is not paid to provide their supervision
- Professional providers – trained and experienced with providing supervision. They charge a fee for the service, and are also required to follow a uniform standards of practice.
The court order will declare which type of provider you will be required to have during these visits.
Source: California Courts, Supervised Visitation, 2014
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