WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SUPERVISED VISITATION
If you’re divorcing a co-parent with a substance abuse issue, you’re likely concerned about how to balance your children’s safety with the need for them to maintain a relationship with that parent. Even if you’d prefer that your kids not be around your co-parent, the court likely will mandate some type of visitation plan.
The solution for these situations is often supervised visitation. That means that a third party must be present when the children are with the parent. Depending on the situation, this third party may be an adult family member or friend. They may be a professional, such as a social worker or psychologist. If there are concerns about the children’s safety during these visits, the court may mandate that a professional monitor be present. That monitor may determine what activities the parent and children can engage in during their time together.
Supervised visitation may take place in the parent’s home or in another location, such as a center used for such visits. You can obtain a directory of supervised visitation centers and providers in Orange County and surrounding areas in Southern California. The key is for the kids to feel safe but also as comfortable as possible.
It’s essential for both parents to remain positive when talking to their kids about supervised visitation. What you tell them will depend on their age and maturity. However, it’s important for the custodial parent not to disparage the other parent or frighten their children when explaining why there’s someone else present during visits or why their visits may be in a location other than their parent’s home.
Whether you’re the custodial parent or the one who’s required to have supervised visitation, it’s essential to understand and abide by the court order. Your focus should be on your children’s well-being and safety — not on how you feel about your co-parent or the visitation order. Your family law attorney can answer any questions you have and provide guidance to help your kids get the greatest possible benefit out of these visits.