Child Custody & Visitation
What is Supervised Visitation?

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What is Supervised Visitation?

August 28 2023
By Virginia Family Law Center

In divorce cases involving children, custody and visitation will likely be major concerns for both parents. A parent may especially be concerned if the other parent has issues that could present safety concerns for the child. They may be worried about what will happen if the child is left alone with the parent.

If there are concerns about custody and the parent spending time alone with the child, the court may order supervised visitation. Supervised visitation is when a parent who is visiting with their child has a supervisor in their presence to ensure that the visitation is safe for the child. The supervisor plays an important role in monitoring the parent’s behavior with the child during the visitation.

Supervised visitation is often a temporary measure. It is ordered by the court in certain situations, such as:

  • Alcohol or drug use. If the parent has a history of alcohol or drug abuse, the court may order supervised visitation.
  • History of poor judgment. If the non-custodial parent has made parenting decisions that have put the child in danger or negatively impacted the child in some way, a court may order supervised visitation.
  • History of abuse or anger problems. If the parent has a history of abuse or anger issues, a court may order supervised visitation.
  • Lack of involvement. If a parent has not been consistently involved in their child’s life, a court may order supervised visitation to help the child build a relationship with the parent.
  • Neglect. If the parent has neglected the child in the past, the court may still encourage visitation but with adequate supervision. 
  • Mental illness. If the parent has a history of mental health issues, a court may order supervised visitation for the child’s safety.

There are various programs in Virginia that offer supervised visitation. They are often recommended to the parents by judges. They help strengthen the parent-child bond without stress, complicated adult conflicts, and safety issues. The programs provide locations to allow family members a time and place to visit with the child. They offer activities that encourage communication and bonding.

Supervised visitation may occur in various ways. They may include:

  • One-on-one supervision, with just one parent and their children.
  • Group supervision, with several parent-child groups in a larger area
  • Telephone or video monitoring, which allows for videoconferencing and other virtual visitation.
  • Therapeutic supervision, which is parent-child therapy conducted by a licensed or certified mental health professional.

Contact Us Today

Sometimes a court will order supervised visitation when there are concerns about how a parent will behave toward a child. This allows a parent to visit with their child and spend time with them without concerns about the child’s safety. 

The team at Virginia Family Law Center can help you learn more about supervised visitation and how it can improve your relationship with your child. Schedule a consultation with our office today by calling (703) 865-5839 or filling out the online form.

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