If a court has mandated that your visits with your children be supervised by a third party, you may be angry and frustrated with the court, your co-parent and anyone who may have provided testimony or evidence against you. However, it’s crucial that you make the most of the situation for your children’s benefit.
Supervised visitation is typically ordered when a parent has a history of harming or neglecting a child, among other scenarios. Even one instance can be enough for a judge to order it. If the harm or neglect hasn’t been proven, a court may order temporary supervised visitation while the matter is investigated.
Types of supervised visitation
Not all supervised visitation is the same. It depends, at least in part, on the seriousness of the actions (or alleged actions) of the parent. In some cases, a court may allow a family member or friend to supervise.
In many cases, however, the visitation must take place at an authorized visitation facility. There are several of these throughout the state. They typically provide a comfortable area for children and parents to play, talk and just spend time together under the supervision of trained professionals who are there to ensure the children’s safety and well-being.
If supervised visitation is your only option for seeing your kids, make the most of it. One of the worst things you can do is cut off contact with your children because it’s not under the circumstances you want.
A few tips
The better you handle your supervised visits, the more likely you are to eventually gain greater access to your children. For example:
- If you’re at a visitation facility, learn the rules and abide by them. The people who work there can help you. Don’t see them as your enemies.
- Show up on time for every visit. Don’t cancel, reschedule or cut them short unless it’s an absolute necessity.
- Have activities planned that fit into your visitation period. However, if your child wants to do something different or nothing at all, be flexible.
- Don’t use the time to criticize your co-parent or pump your children for information about them. Focus on your kids.
All of these things will help you if you’re working through the legal system to get unsupervised visitation and more time with your children. Meanwhile, you’ll be continuing to build a stronger relationship with them.