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Why and How to Pursue a Supervised Visitation Order

I am concerned about my child’s safety with the other parent. Can I require supervised visitation?

In some families, there exists an unfortunate reality that one parent simply isn’t as well-suited to the parenting role as the other. Sadly, children are made to endure issues like domestic violence, substance abuse, neglect, or abandonment – requiring the imposition of a supervised visitation order. With supervised visitation, the child is not completely cut off from spending time with the other parent, however, the visits are fully monitored and often take place at a state visitation center.

parent and child in embrace during a supervised visitation in TexasSupervised visitation in Texas refers to when a third party is present and is observing the non-custodial parent's visit with the child. The third party observer ensures that the child's well-being is secure and that the child remains emotionally and physically safe.

The reasons to pursue a supervised visitation order are varied, and the family court will require some kind of evidence to support the notion that the parent should not be left alone with the child. The following factors will be evaluated:

  • Has the parent abducted the child in the past or does he/she have the potential to abduct?
  • Has the parent struggled with substance abuse in the past or present?
  • Does the parent have a mental illness that disables him/her from carrying out their role as caretaker?
  • Has the parent shown any violent or disturbing acts towards the child in the past or present?

Likewise, the format of supervised visitation can vary from family to family. In some families, a strict weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly schedule at a state visitation center is necessary to ensure the parent is at all times cooperating with the terms of the order and the law. In other situations, supervision at the parent’s home by a trusted family member (e.g., grandparent) may be all that is needed to maintain the child’s safety.

While it may seem easier to try and avoid visitation with a wayward co-parent all together, it is still important for the child to maintain a positive relationship with that person – provided this goal can be accomplished safety and is in the child’s best interests.

If you are considering establishing a visitation arrangement and you would like discuss your questions and concerns with a reputable family law attorney in Texas, please do not hesitate to contact Stinson Moyle, PLLC today: (512) 948-3688.

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