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When do courts mandate supervised visitation?

Going through a divorce in New York is hard enough but becomes especially complicated when you have young children involved. Child custody issues are an essential part of a divorce agreement between you and your divorcing spouse. Sometimes, there are certain circumstances that warrant court-mandated supervised visitation for a parent. 

According to Psychology Today, approximately 40% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Many of these marriages involve children, and today most couples seek joint custody of their child or children. However, sometimes there are reasons why this should not occur and a judge will order you or your spouse to be subject to supervised visitation while spending time with your minor.

The rationale behind this directive is that the court is looking out for the best interests of your child when determining child custody. A judge wants to be sure that he or she is protected from potential harm in a safe space while continuing to maintain a relationship with their parent. The majority of circumstances that warrant supervised visitation occur when there are factors such as: 

  •       Alcohol or drug abuse
  •       Threat of a kidnapping by the parent
  •       Certain mental illnesses or suicide threats
  •       Emotional, mental, physical or sexual abuse 
  •       Incarceration

Conditions surrounding the supervised visitation vary from case to case. Sometimes, you or your spouse may be required to undergo counseling for alcohol or substance abuse or anger management issues while the period of supervised visitation is taking place. Ideally, supervised visitation leads to unsupervised visitation and eventually becomes joint custody between you and your former spouse. 

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.