If your recent divorce agreement allows you supervised visitation with your child, you probably have a lot of questions. Understandably, you might also feel frustrated or angry about the visitation order.
On the other hand, your custody orders might allow the other parent to have supervised visitation, and you may be wondering what this means for you and your child.
Here, we will provide an overview of child custody and supervised visitation in Texas and answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is Supervised Visitation?
Supervised visitation means that any interaction that one parent has with the child must occur in a third party’s presence. The third party is usually a social worker or someone else with child advocacy experience. However, the third party can be a friend or family member in some circumstances. Sometimes the visits will have to take place in a specific location as well.
Courts order supervised visitation for a variety of reasons. Often, the court has decided that the noncustodial parent could pose a danger to the child.
A court may require supervised visitation if the noncustodial parent has a history of substance abuse that might endanger the child or if the parent has threatened or harmed the child. Also, if the court thinks that the noncustodial parent might try to kidnap the child, it will require supervised visitation.
A child can request to have supervision during visits with the noncustodial parent. The court does not always grant these requests. The court will consider the child’s age and whether the custodial parent is influencing the child’s request.
Supervised Visitation Costs
Since the third party supervising the visit is typically a professional supervisor, there are sometimes additional costs of supervised visitation. Usually the noncustodial parent must cover the costs. The court will also consider each parent’s ability to pay when allocating visitation costs.
Is Supervised Visitation Mandatory?
If you and your co-parent have a written visitation order from a court, you must abide by its terms. If your visitation order says that the child’s other parent has the right to supervised visitation, you have to comply with this requirement. This means you must cooperate and do as much as possible to make sure that your child is at the visitation at the scheduled date and time.
If the other parent is not following the order, you can seek enforcement of the order through the court. Seeking enforcement can lead to fines and even imprisonment if the parent who is not following the court order is found in contempt. Since contempt can carry severe penalties, if you have a cordial relationship with your co-parent, it can be helpful to talk to them before seeking court enforcement. If they know how important it is to follow the visitation schedule, they may be more willing to comply.
Talk to a Lawyer
A lawyer can be extremely helpful with supervised visitation issues. A lawyer can talk to your co-parent if they are refusing to follow the visitation schedule. Often, having a discussion with a lawyer can impress the seriousness of the situation on the other parent and encourage them to follow the visitation schedule.
If the child’s other parent has supervised visitation rights and you do not think that the child should have any contact with that parent, a lawyer can help you petition to get the visitation order modified.
The lawyers at The Larson Law Office are compassionate and knowledgeable about child custody law. Erik and Diana Larson will devote their full attention to your case and help you achieve the best possible outcome for you and your child.