During a divorce proceeding, each parent will have to state their case as to why they are the most suitable parent to care for their child. Based on the information brought forward, the judge will make a decision that they believe will be in the best interest of the child and their well being. However, when accusations of domestic violence occur, whether true or false, the court may put a temporary halt on a child custody verdict until they have had time to sufficiently investigate further.
Since the court won’t know whether these claims have validity yet, their solution may be to allow the supposed abusive parent to visit their child during this time, but only with supervision from another person. Domestic violence accusations are always taken seriously with the court, and their decision will be based on evidence.
Here we talk about what to expect during a supervised visit, whether you are the parent in question or the one who had filed domestic violence claims:
When Supervised Visitation May Be Enforced
During supervised visitation, the parent in question will only be able to see their child while under supervision from another person, such as a social worker or family member. The visit may occur at the parent’s home who has custody currently, in a chosen visitation facility, or public place. Judges may order supervised visitation if the other parent makes accusations of alcohol/substance abuse, or domestic violence. The purpose of this supervised visitation is to see that each parent has a chance to maintain a relationship with their child in a controlled environment until the court has reached a decision.
How Long Supervised Visitation May Last
The judge may enforce supervised visitation of a child either temporarily until they have determined the child custody outcome, or permanently until further notice. In many cases, a social worker or counselor will supervise the contact and report any observations to the court about the interactions. If the judge has decided that the parent isn’t fit for custody and further investigation is not necessary due to the insurmountable amount of evidence, he or she can still permit ongoing supervised visits.
The visits will have to continue being under watch by an appointed person until that parent can show there is a change in their circumstances, behavior, and health (such as taking anger management classes, seeing a therapist, and completing a drug rehabilitation program). If you are the parent who has to have supervised visits, it is important to remember that there are ways to demonstrate your growth and improvements to the judge. The parent who wants to change the court order for any reason must return to court and file a request for child custody/visitation modification. If you are the parent who is worried about your child’s safety while being visited by the other parent, you must speak with your divorce lawyer in Fairfax, VA and inform the judge of any concerning behavior immediately.
Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into family law and supervised visitation.