When in a custody hearing, if one of the spouses has concerns about the other’s involvement in their child’s life, it might be a reason to seek supervised visitation. For example, if you think your spouse doesn’t have the child’s best interests at heart, is unreliable, or may be a bad influence.
However, if you are the parent who gets supervised visitation – you may want to find ways to get the supervision requirement removed. If you think the court orders need some changing – you might have some options. In this article, you will learn why a person gets a supervised visitation and how to get it canceled.
What Is Supervised Visitation?
Supervised visitation dictates one parent’s access to a child only when supervised by another adult. The non-custodial parent is still allowed to visit their child and spend some quality time together, but only in the presence of another family member or a social worker.
This typically happens when there is a high conflict between parents, but they are willing to create a safe and supervised environment for their child. Such an arrangement allows the parents to protect their children from potentially dangerous situations and still let them develop a healthy parent-child relationship.
What Forms May Supervised Visitation Take?
There are several options for supervised visitation, each of which has its own particularities.
- Any neutral third party may supervise the visits. That includes other family members, family friends, neighbors, or a childcare provider.
- A neutral location can be chosen for the visits to be monitored by a professional.
- A parent can get the help of a mental health professional (e.g., a therapist) explicitly trained for such occasions. (this option can become a bit expensive)
- A parent can supervise the other spouse themselves. However, this option requires much effort to avoid conflict avoidance. By choosing this option, parents must understand that they will have to make peace with each other, at least in front of their children.
Reasons Why You Can Get Supervised Visitation
Typically supervised visitation is ordered by a court if there are any concerns that the non-custodial parent may not act in the best interests of a child and may not be able to take proper care of them.
Other reasons to order a supervised visitation may include:
- Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of the child by a parent;
- Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of the one parent by another parent;
- Alcohol or drug abuse history;
- Mental illness of a parent that poses harm to a child;
- Risk of kidnapping or abduction by one of the parents;
- Absence of one of the parents from a child’s life; and
- Any potentially dangerous situation in which the child was exposed to inappropriate care.
Supervised visitation is often just a temporary arrangement that can be changed to an unsupervised visitation if a non-custodial parent meets specific requirements. For example, in the case of drug abuse, a parent may have to provide clean drug tests or undergo counseling to be granted unsupervised visits.
How to Get Supervised Visitation Removed?
Below you will find a list of tips to get regular visitation with your child. In general, you have to follow three simple steps to get awarded unsupervised visitation, which include:
- Making the most of the existing visits;
- Meeting the requirements; and
- Getting the order changed.
Let’s take a closer look at these three points.
Use Your Visits Wisely
As a parent with supervised visitation, your main goal is to prove to the court that nothing matters to you more than your child. To do this, maintain a strong and healthy relationship with the child. And try to make the most of the time you spend with your child during visitation.
Here are several tips on how to use your visitation time wisely:
- Visitation time won’t always be the most convenient for you, and yet, you have to make it work – use all of it;
- Never be late for visitation; punctuality is a key;
- Show a supervisor respect and manners no matter what you think of them;
- Be there for your child to the fullest: give them your undivided attention, play with them, listen to them, and have fun together.
Some obvious tips still worth mentioning:
- Never come to a supervised visit under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Take care of your appearance and looks; and
- Try to leave your gadgets aside – focus on your child.
If you stick to these simple rules – there won’t be any concerns regarding your attitude towards being a great parent. The judge will see evidence that you are acting in your child’s best interest and doing your best.
Fulfill the Requirements
Supervised visitation typically goes hand in hand with court requirements. If you want to get your regular visitation back – fulfilling these regulations is a must.
Here are some typical requirements you must follow:
- In case of drugs and alcohol abuse history, you have to seek addiction treatment;
- It may also be vital to attend therapy yourself or with your child;
- Attend parenting or co-parenting classes; and
- Maintain a safe and stable environment suitable for your child.
You may also want to do the following:
- Keep your relationship with your ex-spouse civil and amicable;
- Avoid any interactions with law enforcement;
- Keep yourself employed and financially stable; and
- Always pay your child support appropriately if it was ordered.
Get the Court Order Changed
To have your supervised visitation changed to a regular one, you must prove to the court that the circumstances that led to the order have changed. All you need to do is complete the steps mentioned above and generally change your life and parent-child relationships for the better.
Your next step is to file a petition to modify your custody and visitation order, requesting the court to set up a regular schedule for your visitation. Be ready to agree on the frequency of your visits and, if necessary, take part in a court hearing if the other spouse can’t agree with you on this matter.
In some cases, if a parent is afraid to lose the visitation battle, it may be smart to use a law firm’s services. However, such assistance may cost you a pretty penny.
Nothing is impossible for a parent who desperately seeks quality time with their children. So even though the court order may sound like a heartbreaking sentence, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t do anything to change it.
Keeping things civil and having your child’s best interests in mind can help you get regular visitation awarded. So go for it!