Some divorcing parents in Washington are able to easily work out all aspects of the divorce, including a child custody agreement that both parents are happy to uphold. However, for others it is not so easy because they may have a complicated situation at home that prevents joint custody. There are even times when the court must get involved to be sure that a child is protected by ordering supervised visitation. But what exactly is supervised visitation?
According to Psychology Today, joint custody is the preferred approach when dealing with children whose parents’ relationship has dissolved. Both parents are able to spend a significant amount of time with their children in their own residences and they share parenting decisions. However, sometimes there is a situation where a judge may order that a parent only spend time with their child with a safe, neutral party present. This is known as “supervised visitation.”
The benefit of this concept is that the child is protected while still maintaining a relationship with their parent. At times, this occurs when there is evidence of abuse or neglect, and parents are often also required to receive outside help, such as attending therapy or anger management classes or substance abuse treatment. Other reasons why this might be ordered can include a parent’s mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, incarceration, or threat from a parent of an intent to kidnap. In an ideal situation, supervised visitation ultimately leads to future joint custody between both parents.
This information has been provided solely for educational purposes and should not be deemed to be legal advice.