Can supervised visitation be a condition in our custody agreement?
It is quite common in almost every state for supervised visitation to be included within the agreed conditions in any custody arrangement. There does exist a number of requirements and regulations when it comes to visitation approval and maintaining it. A court can order a supervised visitation if at any time there is the belief that the child, or children, in question could be in danger if left unsupervised. These visitations are designed to allow parents to still have access to their children to continue fostering their bond, without recklessly putting any children in danger.
There exists a number of reasons why a supervised visitation would, or should be highly considered in a custody agreement. If either parent has issues or a history of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, has threatened physical harm, has threatened suicide or injury to others, or even been convicted of a crime or has previously been incarcerated. Many legal advocates will often recommend demanding supervised visitation in these type of situations if a custody agreement is to be made.
One thing to consider if supervised visitation is to be implemented, is that the parent requesting the arrangement needs to make sure that they also meet their end of the bargain, which is often making sure the child or children are available on the agreed upon days and times, and also ensuring they do not interfere with the court approved time with the other parent. In some cases, the parent with custody is able to get around visitation rules if they get prior approval in advance, such as a parent taking their children away for vacation, or any other type of prolonged travel or trip.
It’s important to understand that supervised visitation will also require a third party, approved by the court, to be present at all times to monitor the meeting. The parent with custody is required to be on time, and allow ample time for the other parent to interact with the child or children without intrusion. The children must also be protected during these exchanges, and cannot be used to pass or deliver messages or other communication between the parents. There can also be no gifts presented to the children except for in times of birthdays or major holidays.
Often times supervised visitations are established with a number of things in mind, such as the location of each parent, the well-being of the child, the routine of the parents and their employment status and work schedules, and even previous history of the parents. Typically, the parent with sole custody will initiate the paperwork for a supervised visit, and design it in a way that fits around their schedule and can easily accommodate them. After it is submitted, a local judge will review and approve it, before issuing a court order.
It is always recommended to seek legal representation when dealing with the proceedings of separation or divorce, especially with children involved. This is to help ensure there are no legal loop holes taken advantage of, and that the children are indeed taken care of appropriately. It also helps to have a legal advocate who can help manage the paperwork, process and follow up when it comes to supervised visitation and what that means.
To begin the process, the parent with sole custody will need to meet with a lawyer, or download the documents themselves, and submit it to the court. Other documents often required are health records, and a detailed schedule of the child’s school schedule, classes, and after school activities. Even if two parents have an unofficial agreement for visitation, it is highly suggested that both parties still seek a judge’s approval in court. This is why a lawyer or legal champion is highly sought after in these situations to help make the process as seamless as possible. This allows both parties to reach an agreeable conclusion with little to no complications.
It is critical to know that visitation rules can be violated, and in no circumstances, should that occur. Even the parent with sole custody can officially violate their own visitation agreement they created and got approved. A parent could even face criminal charges or be held in contempt of court if they happen to violate their agreement. So it is very important that both parents communicate, keep things civil, are punctual, and always try to keep the children’s best interest in mind. Always strive to make each visitation, with your child, or for your child, a great and promising experience for them.