If you are going through a divorce and have children, there could be many hurdles standing in your way and many questions you may have. Parents are entitled to something known as visitation, which you may or may not have a broad understanding of already. Today we will answer some of your most important questions regarding visitation, especially that which is supervised.
What is reasonable visitation and fixed visitation? Sometimes, a judge will have you settle visitation matters on your own – known as reasonable visitation. This means that you as parents are supposed to work around your respective schedules to come up with the best plan that not only works for you, but works in the best interest of the child. The parent with the custodial rights, however, will generally have more power and influence over what is considered to be “reasonable,” which means that they do not have to agree to anything that is laid out otherwise. A judge may take into consideration that one parent is being inflexible and step in to make matters right.
With a fixed visitation schedule, you will find that the judge orders the times in which the non-custodial parent is permitted to have visits. If there is a rise in conflict between the parents, this is typically the route in which the judge will go. Fixed visitation schedules are popular with the courts because judges believe that these schedules offer stability and children are already going through confusing times with a divorce.
What is restricted visitation and when should it be taken into consideration? The court may see red flags in regards to a parent’s actions with their child. For instance, a parent may have drinking or drug problems or be abusive to a child, and these are cases where supervised visitation may come into play. Some of the most common reasons for this type of visitation are violence, emotional harm, the child’s wishes, mental illness, abandonment, addiction, sexual behavior, incarceration, and abduction. In this case, the court will take these issues into consideration and come up with an appropriate schedule under a watchful eye.
What limitations might a judge order? You may wonder what happens when a judge finds that a parent’s behavior is threatening to a child’s physical, emotional, or mental health. There are several restrictions that the judge may order. These include shortening visits, prohibiting overnight visits, prohibiting a parent from driving with the child, restricting where the parent can take the child and who can be present, having a third party supervise all visits between the parent and child, or ordering a parent into substance abuse treatment.
What if the parent does not show up to supervised visitation? The custodial parent may choose to seek to modify a visitation order based upon a parent’s failure to exercise their scheduled parenting time. The court, however, understands that the goal is to introduce the non-custodial parent back into their child’s life at any cost, and so this will usually be the first course of action before drastic measures are taken.
Do you have questions about supervised visitation? Do you believe that your ex-spouse may be causing physical, emotional, or mental health problems to your child? It may be time to take action and give us a call. At The Law Offices of Amy M. Montes, we can help you every step of the way. Give us a call today and find out what rights you have, and what you can ask of the courts.