It can be a blow to a parent when their soon-to-be-ex not only seeks full custody of their child but asks that their visitation be supervised. If a court has ordered supervised visitation, it’s crucial that you don’t let the restrictions affect your relationship with them.
Supervised visitation looks different for everyone. In some cases, an unrelated third party (often appointed by the court) needs to supervise the interaction. Sometimes these visits take place in a facility run by one of New Jersey’s approved supervised visitation providers. In other cases, it’s enough for a family member or friend to be present.
Typically, supervised visitation is required if a parent has a history of substance abuse or other dangerous behavior. If abuse or neglect of a child or someone else in the family has been alleged but not proven, the court may order supervised visitation while the matter is under investigation.
Make the most of supervised visitation – even if you’re fighting it
No matter how wrong and unfair you believe the supervised visitation order is, this is the only way you can see your child for the time being. Remember that this situation likely isn’t your child’s choice, either. Help them get the most out of your visits. If you need to repair your relationship, this can help you begin.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to move beyond supervised visitations:
- Don’t cancel, not show up or be late unless it’s absolutely unavoidable.
- Don’t argue with your co-parent or whoever brings your child to your visitation location.
- Always have something ready to do with your child that fits well into your allotted time.
- If your child has other ideas for activities or doesn’t feel like doing anything, be flexible – even if it means just sitting with them if that’s all they want.
- Focus on what’s going on in your child’s life. Don’t use this time to get fodder for your ongoing legal battles with your co-parent.
- If you’re in a supervised visitation facility, follow the rules and don’t argue with the staff.
Remember that any custody or visitation order can be modified if the situation calls for it. If you want and deserve more parenting rights, be sure you explore all of your legal options.