Supervised visitation is a legal term that necessitates a third party’s presence when a non-custodial parent is visiting a child. If a court orders supervised visitation for a parent, there has to be a qualified supervisor whenever they spend time with their child. The supervisor could be a professional, the other parent, or a trusted family member.
Supervised visitation is never made as a punishment to a parent. It only occurs when it’s necessary to protect the child. The court understands the importance of the bond between a parent and a child, and there’s no doubt that there are advantages to both parents being present in the child’s life.
When is Supervised Visitation Necessary?
We all love our children. For most people, their children’s births are the most memorable, best days of their lives. Yet, being human, we may fall into behaviors, attitudes, and lifestyles that endanger our children’s health, safety, and welfare. When this happens, it’s the best decision to apply to the court for a decision and only allow the parent with difficulties to spend time with the children when someone else is present.
Suppose a parent has a history of perpetual alcoholism, drug use, addiction, domestic violence, or mental and psychological instability. In any of these cases, it’s quite easy to see why supervised visitation is the best decision. The parent might not even mean to harm or endanger the child on purpose, but it happens regardless of the parent’s best intention. A parent with Alzheimer’s or dementia, diseases that cause them forgetfulness or short-term memory losses, may not be best left alone with an infant child. They may forget and abandon the child in the park or leave them alone in a shopping cart in the middle of a grocery store.
In the presence of a third party, however, there is a controlled atmosphere where such incidents can be avoided. Behavior that may or does cause harm to the children can be monitored and stopped while happening before true harm occurs. When parents that may be dangerous to themselves or other people are allowed to visit their children without any such supervision, terrible outcomes are possible.
The Hera Mcleod Case
In a Washington Post news article, a man named Rams was charged with capital murder of a child in 2017. But the story began years earlier when Hera Mcleod asked a court Judge to keep her ex-boyfriend, Ram, away from their 15-month-old infant son named Prince.
Hera had told the court about the man’s history of domestic violence. She gave examples of times he threatened her at gunpoint, raped her sister, and even physically abused his older son. Claiming insufficient evidence, the family court overruled Hera’s request.
Although the court-ordered supervised visits at first, Ray was allowed to visit his son, Prince, unsupervised only after a few months. In the end, four unsupervised visits later, Ram drowned Prince. This wouldn’t have happened had supervised visits continued between the young toddler and Rams.
Does Supervised Visitation Ever End?
Supervised visitations are usually for a limited time frame. The visitations become unsupervised when the visiting parent is no longer a risk to the child, the community, or themselves. Suppose supervised visitation has been imposed on a parent on the grounds of alcoholism or another type of addiction. In that case, the imposition may be lifted as soon as the parent can prove that they are now clean and free of addiction and often monitored for substance use in an ongoing fashion. Usually, they need to provide evidence of their claim to the court, perhaps proof and certification from a qualified rehabilitation center that shows sobriety and progress. Soberlinks is one such technology that allows you to track your addiction recovery progress, sending you a monthly report.
It’s worth knowing, too, that supervised visitations do not have to be in an enclosed space. You can have supervised visitation with your child in the same spaces you have unsupervised visitations. So, if you’d like to take your child to the park, or the cinema, you can, as long as you can make the necessary arrangements with the third party. The goal is for the child and parent to continue building and growing their relationship while having a third party ensure the minor child’s safety.
If you are currently on supervised visitation with your child, you can hope that the situation changes soon and look forward to when you can be free and happy, spending quality time with your child alone. However, hoping doesn’t get you there. Try by recognizing and owning your personal issues and problems first. If you have a problem with addiction, anger, or mental health issues, get professional help and take appropriate steps to heal. This isn’t just for the child’s sake but also yours. Children need their parents, and a rehabilitated parent often has so much wisdom and love to share. Let’s secure children’s safety through supervised visitation under the concept of “better safe than sorry” and let the parent with some negative actions and history work on healing themselves.
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