As Philadelphia family lawyers we get a lot of questions about supervised visitation. It can be confusing, even distressing, to hear you can’t see your child without having someone else present.
Here’s what you need to know if you are the parent in this situation. If you’re the custodial parent with some questions about supervised visitation you can find a great resource here. We’ll cover questions custodial parents often ask about supervised visitation at a later date.
What is supervised visitation?
Supervised visitation will require you to have a qualified supervisor present at all times.
Beyond that, it works like any other visit. You can take your child to the zoo, visit with him or her in your home, or spend time with them in any other way you might normally spend time with a child. The supervisor is only there to ensure the child’s safety.
Supervised visitation can be somewhat controversial. For example, there are some who think it isn’t assigned enough, and are seeking legislation to be absolutely sure supervised visitation orders are issued when a proven history of violence exists.
Who supervises the visit?
The divorce order will usually specify who qualifies as an appropriate supervisor. Sometimes a family member will suffice. Other times, the visit will need to be overseen by a qualified professional supervisor who has been trained in overseeing such visits.
There are advantages to the latter, as a professional can usually be counted on to arrive on time, whereas family members have been known to reschedule at the last minute.
Is it possible to win unsupervised visitation after supervised visitation is ordered?
If you feel insulted and demeaned by supervised visitation you wouldn’t be the first person to feel that way. You also wouldn’t be the first person to find a supervised interaction stiff, unnatural, and uncomfortable for both you and your child. If you feel you’ve amply demonstrated your child is perfectly safe with you then it may be time to seek a modification order.
In order to get a modification order you’ll need two things. First, you’ll need to be able to prove there has been a change in your circumstances. Second, you’ll need a qualified family law attorney on your side to help you demonstrate these positive changes to a judge.
We can also help with child support modifications and other issues which come up long after the initial divorce decree is signed. If you need help, don’t delay. Call us for your free consultation today.
Here are a few more useful resources about custody and visitation.