In Virginia, Judges have the authority to order that a person’s visitation with their minor child be supervised. Because we receive tons of questions about supervised visitation, we thought it would be good to create a short post with some basic information.
What is supervised visitation?
- Supervised visitation is when a parent who is visiting with their child has another individual (a.k.a. “the supervisor”) in their presence to ensure that the visitation is safe and appropriate for the child.
- The role of the supervisor is an important one; the supervisor is tasked with monitoring the parent’s behavior and interactions with the child during the visitation.
Why would a Judge order supervised visitation?
While there are a variety of situations in which a court might order supervised visitation, here are a few common examples:
- Drug or alcohol use. If the non-custodial parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, the court may order supervision during visitation.
- History of poor parental judgment. If the non-custodial parent has made parenting decisions that have put the child in danger, or that have otherwise negatively impacted the child, a court may order supervised visitation.
- Mental illness. If the non-custodial parent has a history of severe mental health issues, a court may order supervised visitation.
- History of Family Abuse or Anger problems. If the non-custodial parent has a history of family abuse or anger issues, a court may order supervised visitation (as well as an anger management course in certain cases).
- Lack of involvement. If a parent has not been consistently involved in their child’s life, a Court may order supervision to ensure that there is a smooth transition for the child while they build (or rebuild) their relationship with the parent.
Who is the supervisor?
- It really depends on the case. In some situations, the Court will allow the custodial or non-custodial parent to select an appropriate supervisor, or required that the parents use a mutually agreeable supervisor. In other cases, the Court will select the supervisor, or order that the visitation take place at a special facility that will supervise the visits in a controlled environment.
- For custodial parents, if you are allowed to select the supervisor, it is important to select someone whom you trust to be your eyes and ears during the visitation; you want to use someone who will report back to you in the event of any issues with the visitation.
- For noncustodial parents, if you are allowed to select the supervisor, be sure to select someone reliable who is going to show up on time and be available for each visitation.
If you have questions about supervised visitation in Virginia, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney about your case. The lawyers at BoykoNapier are experienced in all aspects of family law and divorce matters, including complex child custody and visitation cases. BoykoNapier handles cases throughout the Richmond area, including Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield and the surrounding localities. For questions about your custody or divorce case, call (804) 658-3418, or contact them via email.