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California child custody: What is supervised visitation?

Children's best interests should always come first. That's how the State of California sees it, too. So, if a child's safety or well-being comes into question regarding a parent who does not have child custody, a judge may order supervised access when it comes to that parent visiting his or her child. In these cases, a neutral person is often required to be present during any visits between parent and child.  

A judge may order supervised visitation for a number of reason -- not just because there could be a likelihood of physical abuse based on past history. For instance, if the parent has a problem with drugs or alcohol or is battling mental illness, a judge may impose supervised visitation. This can also be true when the parent has been working on specific issues or when the parent doesn't really know his or her child or has been out of the child's life for an extended period. If there is any inkling that the parent may abduct the child, supervised visitation would also be imposed.

A judge may also stipulate when and for how long the visits take place. There are various organizations that provide a third person to oversee these visits, and there may be times when a judge will order who that person will be and where the visits will happen. Supervised visitation may present a challenge to both the custodial and noncustodial parent; however, it is important to abide by a judge's orders.

There are all sorts of issues that surround child custody in California. Whether someone is a custodial parent, or a noncustodial parent who can only see his or her child during supervised visits, getting legal counsel to help  understand the rights that go along with this type of visitation may make the situation less difficult. An attorney may be able to offer guidance and answer any questions concerning supervised visitation.

Source: courts.ca.gov, "Supervised Visitation", Accessed on Feb. 2, 2018

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