Guide to supervised visitation
The guide can help you
- Understand what supervised visitation is
- Ask for supervised visitation
- Find a professional provider
If you are a supervised visitation provider, the guide includes resources for you and training materials.
Sometimes, based on issues of protection and safety, a judge will order that a child only have contact with a parent when a neutral third person is present during the visitation. This is often called supervised visitation.
The neutral person, a supervised visitation provider, could be a specific adult that one or both parents suggest, like a family member or friend, or a paid professional with specialized training. The judge will order who the neutral person is, how long, and when the visits will take place.
The provider is there to make every effort to keep your child safe. The provider must
- Be present at all times during the visit
- Listen to what is being said
- Pay close attention to the child's behavior
- Report any suspected child abuse
If the provider has concerns, they can interrupt or end the visit.
Judges may order supervised visitation when there are concerns about the safety or welfare of your child.
There are many reasons that a judge may order supervised visitation. For example, a judge may order supervision to
- Give the visiting parent a chance to address a certain issue
- Help introduce the visiting parent to a child they've never had a relationship with
- Help reintroduce a visiting parent to their child when they've been absent a long time
- Address a threat of parental abduction
- Address concerns about the visiting parents parenting or mental illness
The judge may also order supervised visitation when there's a history of domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, or substance abuse.
If there's a history of domestic violence in your family, find out more about special laws that apply to custody and visitation. A judge must consider supervised visitation in cases of domestic violence.
More questions? Watch a 6-minute video about supervised visitation.