Spending time with your child is always important, even more so when you don’t have custody or have not spent a lot of time with your child recently. When a child’s safety or well-being is a concern, sometimes a judge will order a parent’s visitation, or parenting time, be supervised. The conditions under which the supervised visitation takes place may vary depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
When, Where, and Who
The judge will grant the non-custodial parent an appropriate amount of parenting time. If the visits must be supervised, they will typically be scheduled in advance so the proper arrangements can be made. When supervised visitation takes pace will depend on the specifics of the order, the schedules of the parents, and the availability of proper venues and supervisors.
Supervised visitation can be done in a variety of places. A judge may order that your supervised visitation take place at:
- A public space, such as a restaurant or park
- An approved community resources center or visitation site
- At the courthouse, or
- In your home or the other parent’s home
The visits are typically supervised by the other parent but are often done under the supervision of approved child care, court, or DCP&P workers who have training in observing interactions between parent and child. The supervisors will be observing your interactions to make sure the visits are beneficial to the child.
Judge’s typically order supervised visitation if a parent has a history of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, drug or alcohol problems, or mental health issues and the child’s physical or emotional welfare could be compromised by the visits with this parent. The judge may order visits be supervised for a specific period of time, after which a review hearing may be held to determine if it is still necessary. In some cases, the court will also order the parent complete certain steps, such as counseling or substance abuse treatment or evaluation before allowing unsupervised visitation. The Court cannot order services to be completed by the parent unless there is a finding of abuse or neglect against that parent. However, the failure to engage in services often leads judges to restrict parental access. Knowing when to engage in services and when to exercise your right not is a difficult balancing act, best suited to be addressed by an attorney.
If the judge orders supervised visitation, you may want to consult with an experienced New Jersey child custody and child welfare attorney. Whether you are the parent whose visits must be supervised or the parent who wants to enforce supervised visitation, an attorney can help you defend your rights and direct you to the resources that will facilitate the supervised visits.
Are you a parent concerned with visitation? Williams Law Group, LLC can assist you with establishing the proper protections for your child during parenting time. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 738-8734, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.