The Clearinghouse on Supervised Visitation Annual Report revealed in 2021 there were 1,844 supervised visitation cases in Florida.
When determining custody arrangements, the court’s primary concern is the best interests of the child. In some situations, supervised visitation may be necessary to ensure the child’s safety and well-being.
A history of violence or abuse
One common scenario that may warrant supervised visitation is a history of domestic violence or abuse. The court takes any form of violence seriously, especially when it involves the child’s safety. In cases where there is evidence of abuse, the court may require that the non-custodial parent only have supervised visits to protect the child from harm.
If a parent has a documented history of drug or alcohol abuse, the court may deem it necessary to have a third-party supervisor present during visitation to ensure the child’s safety and well-being. The goal is to prevent any harm that may arise from the parent’s impaired judgment.
Supervised visitation may also occur when a parent has exhibited behaviors or a lifestyle that raises concerns about the child’s safety. This can include issues such as neglect, a history of mental health issues or a general lack of parenting skills. In these cases, a neutral third party can help ensure that the parent meets the child’s needs during visitation.
High-conflict custody cases are often candidates for supervised visitation as well. If parents have a history of disputes, conflicts or difficulty communicating, the court may order supervised visitation to reduce tension and provide a structured environment for the child’s interactions with both parents.
Lack of relationship
In situations where there is a lack of a substantial relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child, the court may employ supervised visitation as a means to rebuild and strengthen the parent-child bond. Supervision can help create a safe and supportive atmosphere for the child to get to know the non-custodial parent.
The court’s primary goal with supervised visitation is to ensure that the child can maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents. The court carefully considers each case’s unique circumstances to determine the necessity of supervised visitation, aiming to strike a balance between parental rights and child protection.