Mother holding child's handThis is the next post in our series on child custody cases which are likely to involve supervised child visitation. The last article discussed situations in which a judge will order visits to be supervised. It is important to understand that a judge’s sole concern will always be the best interests of the children. The court is unlikely to be concerned about how much the idea of supervision may inconvenience or offend a particular parent. If you are dealing with a case which involves supervised visits then it is crucial to speak with an experienced family law attorney. In this article we will discuss another important topic – what parents should expect at their first supervised visit. If you require assistance then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.

The terms of supervision will be defined by the most recent child custody order

A specific structure will be defined when a Virginia judge orders supervised visitation. This structure will include naming the approved supervisors, the times and places at which visitation may occur, and each parent will be specifically told what is and what is not acceptable conduct during the visitation session. In order to avoid tension the court will not typically appoint the other parent as a supervisor. Instead visitation sessions will typically be overseen by a family member or a third-party with whom each parent is familiar. Visitation will typically take place at the supervisor’s residence or at a public place, such as a park or play place. It is important to understand the importance of abiding by the times that the court defines for visitation. The judge will recognize that it is an inconvenience for the supervisor and they are taking time out of their own day to look out for the interests of the child. Typically, if a parent is late for their supervised visitation then they can expect their visit to be shortened by the amount of time which they were tardy.

When the court orders supervised visits then it will also typically schedule a return hearing of some sort to evaluate how the visits have been proceeding. Typically the restrictions will be relaxed as time goes on. The important thing to remember, however, is that how the court views each case will depend on the matter’s specific facts. The more egregious the conduct which led to supervised visitation, the more likely the court is to leave the restrictions in place for a prolonged period of time.

It is important that parents not disparage each other during supervised visitations

It cannot be stressed enough that the parent being supervised must not disparage his or her counterpart during the visitation. The court views supervised visits as a time for one to maintain a bond with their child and such conduct would not be looked upon favorably by the judge. Likewise, the supervisor should not disparage the parent who is receiving visitation. If either of these situations arise, the court will be likely to re-evaluate the situation.

If you are involved in a dispute then contact our office to speak with a child custody attorney. We have dealt with many cases involving supervised visits and we am ready to assist you.