Supervised Visitation and the Parent-Child Bond

Supervised Visitation and the Parent-Child Bond

A judge typically orders supervised visitation in cases involving child abuse, a threat of parental kidnapping, parental alienation, and cases where the parent has a drug or alcohol problem. The point of the supervision is to ensure the child can maintain an ongoing relationship with the parent while remaining in a safe setting. A supervisor or monitor will be present to ensure the interaction between the child and parent is safe and appropriate.

While supervised visitation can help ensure the child is safe during visitation with the parent, the restrictive nature of supervision can affect the parent-child bond. Building (or rebuilding) a relationship of trust can be difficult under surveillance. If a child senses his or her parent is not trustworthy, as evidenced by the supervision, it might be difficult for that child to bond with the parent.

Supervision also puts certain restraints on when and where visitation can take place. Supervised visitation can take many forms, but the consistent element is supervision by a third party. In some cases, visitation can happen in public places such as parks or restaurants. In others, the visitation takes place at a designated visitation facility. In both instances, having such restrictions on visitation can limit the parent’s ability to maintain an intimate bond with the child.

Any ongoing conflict over the supervised visitations can also work to undermine the parent-child bond. To request supervised visitation, a parent must go to court, which implicates both parents in a court action that can cause undue stress on the child. The parents might have continuing conflict over the visitation and will have to return to court periodically so the judge can review the necessity of the order.

Though supervised visitation can affect the parent-child bond, it is preferable in situations where the child otherwise could not have safe contact with the parent. The bottom line is supervised visitation isn’t appropriate in all cases, but it can facilitate parent-child contact when the child’s safety is at stake. For this reason, you should speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney if you have questions about obtaining supervised visitation. If you are requesting supervised visitation, you will need to have a compelling reason for doing so. An attorney can help determine whether supervised visitation is right for your case and help you present a compelling argument to the judge.


If you have questions about supervised visitation, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. Our skilled attorneys can defend your rights and protect your child’s best interests. 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) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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