“Supervised Custody” – if you’ve been watching the news lately, this phrase has come up quite a bit. From the tragic death of a toddler in Brooklyn at the hands of his father just days before Christmas, to a Louisiana man’s terrifying shooting spree last Friday, the term “Supervised Custody” has been thrown around quite a bit in news media recently. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, both of these tragic stories involved bitter child custody battles where supervised custody was ordered by the Judge. For the most part, the term is self-explanatory, an Order of Court for supervised custody places restrictions on how a parent may exercise their custody time with their child. Depending on the terms of the Custody Order, the supervisor may be a family member, a friend or a neutral third party.
If the Court orders supervised visitation, it can be a challenge for both parents. For the visiting parent, it can be uncomfortable being with their child in the presence of someone else, at least in the beginning. But patience and commitment will pay off. Experts suggest that visiting parents first read and understand the court order in its entirety. Any questions you may have can be answered by your PA child custody attorney. Further, visiting parents should avoid discussing the court case during the visit with their child and avoid grilling the child about the other parent’s activities and relationships. Finally, visiting parents should arrive and depart for visits on time, saying only brief and positive good-byes to their child when the visit is over.
Supervised visits can also be difficult for the custodial parent. If you’ve been tending to your child’s everyday needs for some time, you probably have a solid routine for your family that supervised visits may disrupt. But, it’s important to remember that it’s in your child’s best interest to have a relationship with both of their parents. Experts suggest that custodial parents do everything they can to support and encourage visits with the other parent. This includes explaining to your child where and when the visits will take place, as well as answering any questions they may have.
As with all custody arrangements, things will go most smoothly if parents work together to facilitate the visits. If you’re struggling with supervised visitation in a child custody order, contact our office today to learn more about your rights and options. Our experienced PA child custody lawyers can explain the custody process and provide you with advice tailored to your specific situation.