In select cases, based on issues of protection and safety, a judge will decide a neutral third person must be present during any visitation with a child. This type of third-person visitation arrangement is often called “supervised visitation.”
Who can be the Third Party?
This third-party can be a professional monitor who is paid an hourly fee to supervise the visits or a non-professional monitor such as a family member or friend who agrees to monitor and supervise the visits.
Why is a Supervised Visit Ordered?
A judge may order supervised visitation for any of the following:
- When there are allegations of drug abuse, alcoholism, domestic violence, child abuse, or molestation;
- When a parent has been absent from the child’s life for a long period of time or there has been no existing relationship between the parent and the child to help re-introduce that parent;
- When there is a concern about mental illness; and
- When there is a threat that a parent may abduct or kidnap the child.
When and Where Can the Supervised Visitation Take Place?
The court order will specify the time and duration of the visits. Sometimes, the court order will also specify who the provider is to be and where the visits are to take place.