Courts order supervised visitation in some high conflict or high risk custody disputes. Supervised visitation is usually carried out on a schedule, with a limited number of hours per week. The visit can take place in public, such as at a restaurant, or at the home of the parent. A professional provider, family member or friend may be chosen to supervise.
Supervised visitation is an opportunity for the parent and child to spend time together in a safe environment. This type of visitation can be frustrating, and feel unnatural. Most parents want to see their children unsupervised, with liberal time together. A parent may feel powerless, resentful, and hopeless. However this type of visitation usually doesn’t last long, unless there are problems.
There are many things a parent can do to achieve unsupervised visits. The first step is to take a look at why the supervised visits were ordered. Perhaps the parent was found to have a substance abuse problem, or the parent had been abusive or neglectful in the eyes of the court. Acceptance, and willingness to take positive action can be a parent’s best allies.
Address any possible problems with maturity and take steps to correct them, always keeping the best interests of the child at heart. Treatment, AA meetings, parenting classes and therapy all show the parent is striving to change for the better. It helps to keep a record of all meetings and appointments.
Do not withdraw from the child. Attend all scheduled visits. Send letters that are upbeat and do not mention anything about the dispute. Send gifts on holidays. Call daily, if you are able, and always focus on the child, maintaining a relaxed, cheerful demeanor. Keep track of all phone calls to the child.
Pay child support. While it may be tempting to withhold the money, the court will not look kindly on this. The child support money is the parent’s contribution to covering the needs of the child, and paying it shows caring, responsibility and maturity.
With the right action, unsupervised visitation is a closer goal than it seems. If faced with a question, always answer it from the child’s best interests. The judge can see your motivation and enthusiasm to see your child more frequently. It helps to remember that parent/child reunification is always the goal, and supervised visitation is only a rock in the road.
To speak with a Tempe child custody and visitation rights lawyer, contact us online or by calling 480-345-2652.