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A national directory of supervised vistation resources.


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Reasons for Ordering Supervised Visitation

Supervised visitation is typically ordered when there is evidence that the child may be adversely affected by contact with a parent, or if it is ruled that contact would not be in the child's best interests. The following are some of the most commonly cited reasons where supervised visitation would be mandated.

  • Risk of Abduction or Removal: If the court finds that there is a realisstic probability of a parent abducting a child, supervised visitation may be ordered. In some cases visitation will be suspended depening on the severity of the risk of abduction

  • Potential Emotional Harm: When there is risk of emotional harm to the child from contact with the other parent the parent's visitation may be restricted or suspended. Emotional harm generally needs to be shown by evidence that contact with the parent negatively affects the child's well-being or development. Anti-social behavior, poor school performance, or self-harming behaviors may be used to as evidence of emotional problems.

  • Drug or Alcohol Abuse: A parent who is deemed to be an alcoholic or who uses illegal drugs can be denied visitation if the court finds that the drig or alcohol abuse endangers the child. This is especially true if the parent has one or more offenses related to substance abuse, such as arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) or possesion of controlled substances.

  • At The Child's Request: The court can consider the child's wishes as as a valid reason to impose supervised visitation. If a child is able to clearly state a compelling reason or reasons why they don't want to have contact, this may be cause for the court to institute visitation monitoring.

  • Incarcerated Parent: A parent's incarceration alone is not considered reason enough to deny visitation, but supervised visitation is often ordered in this situation. Parental rights may be curtailed or suspended if the court feels that visits to an incarcerated parent may be detrimental to the child.

  • Parent's Mental Illness: A parent's mental illness may be considered serious enough to warrant supervised visitation monitoring, depending on the nature of the illness and the extent to which it may impair their ability to parent safely of effectively. The court would normally need to find that there is believable potential for harm to the child due to the parent's mental illness before ordering supervised visitation monitoring.

  • Risk Of Violence To The Child: A parent may be ordered to have supervised visitation (or even denied visitation rights) if there is eveidence that parent has committed any form of child abuse, including threats of physical violence. This may also extend to incidents of alleged or proven spousal abuse or domestic violence.

  • Inappropriate Sexual Conduct: Heterosexual relationships between the a parent and a girl- or boyfriend are rarely cause for instituting supervised visitation. Courts may sometimes choose to restrict overnight visitation by children with a parent if they believe that a relationship would cause harm to the child, but this is uncommon.

  • Religious Beliefs: Unless the court finds that a given religious belief or practice could be harmful to the child, they may not restrict parental rights on this basis. Cases where supervised visitation have been ordered on religious grounds usually include a belief in abstaining from conventional medical treatment or potentially harmfull or dangerous practices (i.e., snake handling, prolonged fasting, etc).


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