Child custody and visitation can be two of the most contentious issues in a divorce in California. Many people in Sacramento who are contemplating a divorce regard child custody and visitation as the most difficult questions that must be resolved in a divorce, but sometimes, the circumstances of the parents may prevent a complete resolution regardless of the terms of the court’s order for visitation. In such cases, the parties may wish to consider supervised visitation.
Supervised visitation means that a neutral third-party must be present when a child meets with the non-custodial parent. Previous domestic violence in the household is one of the principal justifications for supervised visitation. Other reasons a court may order supervised visitation include re-introducing a parent and child after a long absence, introducing a parent and child when they have had no prior relationship, the existence of parenting concerns, including mental illness, or the threat of abduction.
In some divorces, the issue of supervised visitation can be addressed by the parents in their visitation plan. If the parents are unable to resolve questions of supervised visitation, the court will issue an order that will address issues such as the time, duration and place of visits. A judge may also specify the party who will provide the supervision services and the place of the visits.
Supervised visitation may stir acute anxiety in one or both parents, but, in many cases, supervised visitation is the only way that the non-custodial parent can spend time with the children.