Many parents who are going through the divorce or paternity process ask about requiring their child’s other parent to have supervised visitation. The reality is that proving the need for supervised visitation is a very high burden, as it should be. A parent who must spend very limited time with a child in an artificial, unrelaxing environment under another person’s supervision is simply not likely to develop an appropriate parent-child bond. As a result, while many may ask for supervised visitation in their cases, not many parents actually obtain a supervised visitation order.
Short-Term Supervised Visitation
There are a number of situations in which short-term supervised visitation might be necessary to protect the physical and/or emotional health of the child. For instance, short-term supervised visitation might be appropriate where a child and parent already have a long-established close relationship, but the parent is suffering from some temporary situation that makes unsupervised visitation inappropriate. This might be the case, for instance, if a parent is in the early stages of recovery from drug or alcohol abuse, and needs supervision for a limited amount of time in order to ensure the parent’s sobriety. A history of domestic violence within the family is another type of circumstance in which supervised visitation is best for the child. Another situation necessitating short-term supervised visitation might be if the parent was involved in a serious accident and is unable to physically care for a small child on his or her own, or if the parent has had recent mental health issues that must improve before unsupervised visitation can occur.
Long-Term Supervised Visitation
While it is a much rarer situation, there are some circumstances in which a long-term supervised visitation arrangement is in the best interest of the child. For example, some parents suffer from permanent mental or emotional impairments that make them unable to care for a child without assistance. Nonetheless, the parent and child love each other, which might make even long-term supervised visitation a reasonable course to follow. The danger with supervised visitation, however, is that the parent is allowed to maintain a very limited relationship with his or her child, but chooses not to get the appropriate mental health or substance treatment that might change the situation. In these cases, it is unclear whether supervised visitation on a long-term basis is beneficial for either parent or child.
Contact Your South Carolina Divorce Attorney for Assistance Today
While supervised visitation between parent and child is not a common situation, there are some situations in which supervised visitation, either for a short period of time or for an indeterminate period of time, is the best arrangement for all parties involved. Come to the Elliott Frazier Law Firm, LLC, where we can discuss your situation, explore your options, and decide whether pursuing a supervised visitation order is the best course of action. Consult your South Carolina family law attorney for advice in your child visitation case today, and learn how we can help.