David P. Badanes, Esq.
Typically, the non-custodial parent is entitled to meaningful visitation with their child. Absent exceptional circumstances some form of visitation with the noncustodial parent is always appropriate. However, in some circumstances, a court may order supervised visitation.
Supervised visitation can take several forms. For example, a court may state that the non-custodial parent can: (1) only visit the child in a public place; (2) only visit the child when a third party is present; (3) only visit the child at a secure facility; or (4) only visit the child when a relative or friend is present.
A court may state that supervised visitation is to occur indefinitely or that it is to automatically be re-visited after a certain time period. Supervised visitation is appropriate where it is established that unsupervised visitation is detrimental to the child.
The non-custodial parent is entitled to a court hearing before a court can order supervise visitation. The parent must be given advance notice of the hearing and must have an opportunity to be heard and to contest the court’s decision.
The custodial parent has the burden of proof to demonstrate that the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights should be curtailed such that they only have supervised visitation.
Some of the reasons why supervised visitation may be appropriate are:
• Violence or physical endangerment. If the parent has abused the child or threatened physical violence, supervise visitation may be ordered.
• Emotional harm. Supervised visitation may be appropriate when there is emotional harm to the child.
• Substance abuse. A parent who abuses drugs or alcohol may be limited to supervised visitation.
• Abduction. If there is a strong probability of abduction, then the court can order supervise visitation.
• Mental illness. If the parent’s mental illness is serious enough and it can be shown that unrestricted access could harm the child, then supervised visitation may be ordered.
If you are seeking to limit the non-custodial parent to supervised visitation, or you are seeking to fight a determination of supervised visitation, David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office can help you. For a consultation, give us a call today at: (631) 239-1702, or contact us online.