Why Would the Court Require Supervised Visitation?
In an ideal world, divorced parents will be able to share time and decision-making concerning their children. Unfortunately, there are circumstances which warrant that a parent must be supervised when spending time with their kids. Here are some reasons why a court may determine a parent needs supervised visitation:
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
In a divorce or custody case, Florida courts are required to make decisions which are in the best interest of the child. When making this choice the court will look at several factors including the ability of each parent to maintain a home environment which is free of any substance abuse. When a parent is shown to have an addiction problem, this could be enough of a concern to cause the court to order that one parent have majority time-sharing and that the other parent’s time with their child be supervised. The reason being that the parent may be dangerous to the child due to their drug or alcohol abuse.
Another factor Florida family courts will consider is whether there is a history of domestic violence between the parents or other people within the home. This is true even if the abuse was never directed at the children or in their presence. It is always concerning for a court to receive information that a parent has been violent towards another member of the household. If the court believes a parent to have been recently violent, it is likely that time with their child will be under supervision.
Sexual and Child Abuse History
Anytime there is a threat to a child’s safety the court can order supervised visitation. When one parent is a known sex offender, this information will factor into a court’s decision to order supervised visitation. If the parent has a history of child abuse or neglect with their child or other children, the court may also require that the parent not be permitted to be alone with their child.
While having a mental illness is not necessarily going to require that a parent’s time be supervised, there may be court-ordered supervision when there is a demonstrated history of the parent having extreme symptoms. For instance, if a parent is known to stop taking their medication which results in them exhibiting violent or impulsive behaviors, it may be necessary for the court to order monitored visits.
At the Draper Firm, we have attorneys who are experienced in helping families understand their time-sharing options and provide guidance and support: If you need advice concerning your parenting agreement and time-sharing issues, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. We invite you to learn more about our firm here.