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What is supervised visitation?

When the parents of a child go through a divorce they often must establish the rules governing each parent's time with their child. Family law courts throughout California can help parents establish these rules and may even issue orders related to custody matters. As prior blog posts on this site have mentioned, child custody may encompass the legal and physical control of a child. An important part of physical custody is visitation for non-custodial parents and visitation may be mandated and ordered in a child custody case.

As with other issues related to children, courts will look out for the best interests of a child when establishing visitation parameters. In some cases a court may determine that it is not in the child's best interests to be alone with his non-custodial parent. In those situations, the court may order supervised visitation for the non-custodial parent and child.

Supervised visitation requires that a neutral third party attend the scheduled visitation time between the non-custodial parent and child. There are many reasons why a court may feel this is best for the child. In some cases, a parent may not have been part of his child's life and the relationship between parent and child may not be strong. In other cases, the mental or physical health of the parent may not be sufficient to adequately care for the child while the child is in the parent's care.

There are other explanations for why a court may grant a parent supervised visitation and individuals with questions about their particular visitation orders may speak with a legal professional about their specific situations. As with all custody decisions, courts do what they believe serve the best interests of the children subject to their orders. Parents with specific questions about their visitation rights may seek out specific legal advice from attorneys who practice in the family law field.

Source: The Judicial Branch of California, "Supervised Visitation," accessed on Jan. 10, 2015

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