When parents litigate child custody and visitation in California family law courts, the public policy of the state is to protect the best interest of the children. There are cases where the court has to protect and keep safe the child or children from one parent by ordering a neutral third-person to supervise the visit. The court labels this type of visitation with the child or children as "supervised visitation."
Judges can order supervised visitation if there is a history of domestic violence, current allegations of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or substance abuse. Also, the court can order supervised visitation when there has been no existing relationship between the parent and child. Reintroducing the child and parent can occur via supervised visitation when there has been a long absence. The court can additionally order supervised visitation when the visiting parent needs to address specific issues. Moreover, the court can order supervised visitation when a parent has a mental illness or threatens to abduct the child or children.
Once a court orders supervised visitation, the court will need to specify the time and duration of the visits. The court can also direct who will provide the supervised visitations and where they should occur. The visiting parent could be ordered to pay for the supervised visitation if a professional monitor is required, but both parents may be ordered to pay. There are instances where the court will allow a relative to supervise the visits.
Hiring a skilled family law attorney to represent a parent in these cases is critical. Supervised visitation can occur whether parents are going through a divorce or paternity case.