In a divorce or child custody dispute, you may be ordered to have supervised visitation with your child. Supervised visitation is an important tool used by the courts to protect children. However, it can be a frustrating experience, especially if you think it is unnecessary. Here are some important things to know if you believe the court may order you to have supervised visitation with your child:
When will the court order supervised visitation?
Supervised visitation is only ordered when the court is concerned about the well-being of the child. This concern can arise for a number of reasons, including: a history of diagnosed mental illness, a history of abuse or neglect, substance abuse and drug addiction, concern that child abduction may occur, a history or accusations of sexual misconduct, if you have spent time in jail, if you have gone years without seeing the child, and more. While these factors cause concern for the courts, they do not always result in supervised visitation, especially if you have made concrete steps to remedy past behavior.
What exactly does supervised visitation entail?
Supervised visitation means that you will only be able to spend time with your child when a third person is present. The Court may assign the third person to be your spouse, a friend or family member, a therapist or organization, or a professional, such as a social worker. During the visitation, the third person has the power to end the session early if they believe it is in the child’s best interest.
Typically, supervised visitation requires you to meet your child at a designated location, such as a visitation center. Sometimes, courts will allow the third party and your child to meet you at your home. The visitation will be for a specified amount of time, and typically occurs every week, every other week, or every month.
How long does supervised visitation last?
The Court can order either temporary or indefinite supervised visitation. Temporary supervised visitation may be ordered while accusations of abuse or other concerns are investigated. If the Court determines that you are unfit for custody, they may order temporary custody until you prove that your circumstances have changed sufficiently to make you a fit parent. Depending on the circumstances, this may include attending and completing anger management, drug rehabilitation, or more. Once you have successfully changed the circumstance that concerned the Court, you must go back to court to request to end supervised visitation.
In other circumstances, the Court may order indefinite supervised visitation. This is far less common, and only occurs when the parent has serious problems that causes the Court to believe the parent will never be fit to properly look after a child.
If you have been ordered to supervised visitation, or are concerned that you may be, please contact Spindler and Associates. We have years of experience and know the laws and court procedures for Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, Genesee and Washtenaw Counties where our attorneys have practiced for years. Contact Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates at 248-676-1000 to schedule a consultation. The Oakland County law office is conveniently located in Milford, Michigan. Our service area includes these communities: Milford, Waterford, Walled Lake, Commerce, Highland, Hartland, White Lake, Commerce, South Lyon, Linden, New Hudson, Wixom, Holly, Fenton, Grand Blanc and many more.