Even though most parents want free access to their children, certain circumstances require visitation in the presence of a neutral third party to make sure the children remain safe. While this arrangement may seem restrictive, it allows a parent to have access to children when the court might otherwise prevent any contact whatsoever.

It makes sense that the court would restrict access for a parent with a history of domestic violence. The court may, however, order supervised visitation in other situations, including:

  • To help reintroduce a parent and a child after a long absence
  • To help introduce a parent and a child who have no existing relationship
  • When there is a history of domestic violence, child abuse or neglect
  • When there is a history of substance abuse
  • When there are concerns about parenting skills
  • When there is a risk of abduction

Depending on the nature of the situation, the courts may specify every detail of the visits, including the scheduled time, duration and place – even the person who must has supervisory responsibilities. But supervised visitation need not be a permanent condition. An experienced California child custody and visitation lawyer can help parents obtain expanded visitation rights as appropriate in the future.

Children benefit from regular contact with the people they love, but their safety takes priority in cases when unfettered access might put them in danger. A knowledgeable family law attorney can help ensure the best interests of the children remain at the forefront.