Do you feel like the other parent of your child is even more of a kid than your child? Perhaps the other parent has a serious drug problem, was arrested and convicted of violent crimes or maybe your ex abused you and your children in the past. If one of these scenarios applies to you, supervised visitation may be the key to allowing your children safe, continued and healthy contact with your ex.
Colorado courts generally believe that it serves the best interests of children when they have contact with both parents. Even when one parent poses a potential risk or danger to the children, courts may still encourage continued contact, but with a plan that requires supervised visits monitored by a court-approved or court-appointed individual.
How supervised visitation works
With supervised visits, the noncustodial parent gets to see his or her children in a safe environment with another adult, or "supervisor," present. When supervised visits are appropriate, the court will include the requirement in the parenting plan. A visitation schedule will also be needed to ensure that the visits actually happen and how they will happen.
When supervised visitations happen, the custodial parent will usually drop the child off in a neutral location, where the court-appointed or family-selected and court approved supervisor will be present. The noncustodial parent may then spend time with the child while the supervisor is present and monitoring.
Situations in which supervised visits are appropriate
Here are some examples of situations when a Colorado court might order supervised visits:
- If the parent has a past history of sexual, physical or emotional abuse against the child.
- If the parent has a problem with substance abuse.
- If the parent has a mental illness that could threaten the child.
- If the parent might present an abduction or kidnapping risk.
- If the parent was guilty of neglecting the child.
- If the parent has thus far avoided involvement in the child's life but now wants to build a relationship.
- If dangerous family situations occurred in the past.
Could supervised visitation be right for your family?
If you feel that your situation warrants supervised visits, you may be able to advocate for them in court during your child custody proceedings. Although courts will support your child's ability to visit with the noncustodial parent, Colorado courts will always honor your child's need for safety and protection if the noncustodial parent presents any kind of danger or risk.