How California Courts Protect Children and Their Relationships with Their Parents
California courts are devoted to protecting the best interest of children. In certain cases, the matter can be a difficult balancing act as they consider the child’s wellbeing and happiness, as well as their safety. In such instances, supervised visitation is a helpful tool.
What Is Supervised Visitation?
Supervised visitation is a legal agreement in which an individual may only spend time with a child when a neutral outside party is present during the meeting.
The judge will outline specific dates and times for such meetings to occur. The court may also provide further instruction regarding who will supervise, and where the visitation will occur.
Why Would a Court Order Supervised Visitation?
Couples may be able to reach an agreement on visitation independently in a parenting plan, though when unable, the two will turn to the court to offer a ruling.
Ruling judges may elect to instate supervised visitation for a variety of reasons. Judges could order it to:
- Introduce a child to a parent with whom they have no existing relationship
- Reintroduce a child and parent after having gone a long time without seeing each other
- Allow a parent to discuss certain points of contention
- Allow a parent with history of child or substance abuse to see their child
- Allow visitation when there is a threat of parental abduction
If supervised visitation has been ordered, it is because the judge firmly believes it is in the best interest of the child. It allows the child to maintain the coveted existence of a parent-child relationship while preserving their safety.
When Could the Parent Earn the Right to Have Unsupervised Visitation with Their Child?
Supervised visitation is often a temporary matter to allow a parent to rebuild a relationship and trust with their child. The court’s supervised visitation order will remain in place until a change in circumstance has occurred which renders an adjustment necessary. Such a change could include:
- A parent moving
- A parent completing relevant counselling or rehabilitation programs
- A positive change in the parent’s responsibility
Either parent may request a change in the agreement by returning to court. The judge will closely follow the case and evaluate any relevant proof of maturity of the individual requiring supervised visitation before deciding whether to suspend the required presence of a third party during visitation.
Contact Cecil Cianci Law, PC for further information regarding supervised visitation: (916) 675-3866.