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When does the court consider supervised visitation?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2024 | Family Law |

Child custody remains to be at the heart of every divorce case. Parents fight for their right to maintain a healthy relationship with their child despite the marital split.

North Carolina custody laws do not prefer one parent over the other. Instead, the judge examines the family’s unique circumstances, weighs relevant factors and decides a custody arrangement that protects the child’s best interests. As a result, custody orders significantly vary. For instance, a parent can have primary physical custody where the child lives with them while the other parent receives supervised visitation.

Supervision becomes necessary if a parent is a risk to the child

Supervised visitation is when the noncustodial parent gets to spend time with their child in the presence of a neutral third party, such as a social worker, who constantly monitors the parent-child interactions. It can happen at a court-approved location, either in the privacy of the parent’s home or a public place, such as a child care center, or a local park or restaurant.

The court orders supervision if it deems that the parent can endanger the child for the following reasons:

  • Abuse or neglect
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Untreated mental health condition
  • Parental kidnapping or when the parent refuses to return the child to the other parent
  • Parental alienation or when the parent manipulates or distorts the child’s perception of the other parent

To obtain unsupervised visits, the concerned parent must prove they have resolved the issue that triggered the supervision. The supervisor can help the court validate the parent’s petition to modify the custody order.

Thorough consideration is a must for the child’s safety

While parents want to keep being part of their child’s life, not everyone is in the position to do so due to their complicated situations that can threaten the child’s safety. A legal team can help either parent carefully consider courses of action to secure their interests and their child’s future.