Is Supervised Parenting Mandatory in Divorce Cases?
Supervised parenting or supervised visit orders are ordered by the Court whenever there is a risk for children to suffer abuse, even though only 10% of the allegations are substantiated.
A Suitable Option to Visit the Children
Supervised visitation is the only option that some parents have to share time with their little ones. It is thought of as the best option to see their children, at least until the supervised time is no longer needed, although it is not what they envision as optimal. This arrangement aims to protect children when the Court determines there is a need to safeguard their integrity. Although maintaining a relationship with the parent is in the child’s best interest.
Supervised visitation is ordered with the only intention of protecting the child, and there are multiple situations in which the court can implement this situation. The request is usually initiated by parents expressing fear about their safety whenever they spend time with the other parent. If one parent gets involved in legal issues, the matter would be revised in a criminal court. The ruling would charge a family judge either responding to a referral or after a criminal case. The level of monitoring depends on the judge’s decision.
Mandatory Supervision can Bring Stress into the Relationship With Your Child
Having a third party present during the parent’s visitation time can affect the relationship with the child because it can make the parent feel uncomfortable or unfit. Stress can overwhelm the parents if there is someone else hearing their conversation with their child.
Any parent wishing to file for supervised visitation should consider the whole panorama and how it might affect the child long-term. Nonetheless, several situations do require enforcing this type of arrangement as a means to safeguard the child.
When Do Courts Require Supervised Parenting in New Jersey?
The following are just a few examples of situations that might qualify for supervised visitation:
- Substance abuse issues
- Child abuse caused by a parent
- Domestic violence happening between the parents
- Child abduction risk by one of the parents
- The parent is trying to play an active role in the child’s life after being absent for a long period
- The parent is declared unfit or has a history of neglect
- Mentally unstable parent
Judges reserve the right to order supervised parenting (supervised visitation) if there is an unstable situation and there is a risk of harm to the children. Although supervision could be hard to handle, judges may make a mistake trying to ensure caution, with the intention of preventing the children from a potentially harmful situation. Family Court is typically the final resource for children involved in a vulnerable domestic situation to seek defense for those children.
Supervised Parenting Defined
The Court will determine how supervised parenting works for each case. The judge has the responsibility of deciding if any protection is necessary and the required supervision level. Many variables come into play for each agreement. The court can make decisions on the following subjects:
- Location of the supervised visits
- Designating the child’s companion during the visit
- Duration of the visit
- Extension of the supervised portion of the visit
- Deciding if the child’s companion will be court-appointed or a family member
- Effective period of the supervised visitation requirements
Monitored Visitation is Typically Temporary
Supervised parenting aims to allow the parent to continue to share time with the child while an amicable solution to spend time together alone is worked out, which means supervised visitation should only be a temporary solution in a custody case. This would be a feasible solution for a parent recovering from substance abuse. The idea is to minimize the need for supervised visitation once the parent’s issue is resolved. Still, in the meantime, the parent is allowed to maintain a relationship with their child.
A family law attorney can submit a petition to remove the need for supervised visitation after the parent has demonstrated the progress they have achieved over time. However, if the case involves any abuse, removing the requirement poses a greater challenge. Courts will prefer cautiousness when devising a safety plan for the child.
If the parent continues to achieve progress and can prove to the court that restrictions are no longer necessary, the restrictions will be decreased little by little, which is a comforting thought that parents can keep in mind. Parents who have been assigned a supervised parenting order should continue to make an effort to improve their lives and those of their children.
A Family Attorney can Help if Considering Supervised Parenting in Your Case
Both parents should hire a family lawyer when managing supervised visitation. The parent who is subject to a monitored visitation order might need an attorney to discuss with a judge whether supervision is required or not. Although a judge has already ruled in the matter, the goal would be to achieve a less restrictive type of supervised visiting. If possible, they may attempt to be granted some time alone with the child, although the child’s safety always comes first.
Family law attorneys can assist in drafting a parenting supervision plan laying out the specific terms of supervision, safeguarding the child’s best interest. Knowledgeable lawyers who regularly handle supervised visitation and other child custody matters are aware of the plan requiring a particular type of wording to assure it can be enforced and ultimately protects the child.
Parent Mutual Agreement is Also an Option
Although a supervised visitation plan becomes part of the court order, parents can always choose to agree on a visitation schedule or plan without the participation of a judge. They can decide the duration of each visit and consider the possibility of eliminating supervision from future visits. So it might prove beneficial for the parent having to comply with supervised visitation to attempt to reach a mutual agreement with the other parent instead of having the court decide on the matter. Divorce and family lawyers aid during the negotiation stage, proposing less restrictive measures but prioritizing the child’s best interests.
Is Supervised Visitation Right for Your Family? Contact our Lawyers for a Free Consultation at our Little Falls Office
If you or a loved one are going through a divorce process or custody battle and would like to establish a supervised visitation plan, safeguarding your child’s best interest, you are entitled to seek legal advice from a qualified family lawyer. Consider getting help from an attorney who can best guide you on the proper approach to discussing the matter with the other parent or in front of a judge.
At The Montanari Law Group, LLC, our legal team is prepared to walk you through the process of reaching the best parenting arrangement for your child’s needs. We will advocate for your rights and interests as we do for clients on a regular basis in Clifton, Paterson, Wayne, West Milford, Woodland Park, Little Falls, and Passaic County. Whether you are currently involved in a divorce or having child custody issues, do not let the parenting plan discussion affect your relationship with your child.
Contact us online or through our local Little Falls offices today at (973) 233-4396 for a free and confidential consultation with a member of our qualified legal staff concerning your specific situation.