Family law cases are difficult, exponentially when there are kids involved. The especially difficult cases involve some form of concerning parental behavior. In these instances, it may be appropriate to seek supervision of a parent’s time with their children. Supervised parenting time may be ordered for any number of reasons. Furthermore, supervised parenting time may take on many different forms to accommodate the needs of any family’s particular situation. While supervised parenting time is somewhat amorphous in the sense that it can take on many shapes, there are generally two categories into which supervised parenting time fall. These types are addressed below.
When parents exhibit more extreme behaviors, or when parent-child relationships are particularly strained or even nonexistent, therapeutically supervised parenting time may be appropriate. In these situations, a mental health professional is likely to oversee a parent’s time with their child(ren) and provide real-time suggestion and coaching on appropriate interaction. In situations such as this, a parent may need to learn how to appropriately interact with their children or otherwise act parent-like. In other circumstances, the mental health provider may take notes and make assessments while a parent interacts with their child(ren), and subsequently, provide recommendations to the parent after the parenting time session.
Outside of a therapeutic setting, the possibilities for supervised parenting time are greatly expanded. Supervised parenting time may occur at any number of locations, such as a facility specializing in providing supervised parenting time; a mental health professional’s office; a parent’s home; relative’s house; public place; or many other locations. Beyond that, there are plenty of different individuals who may be capable of providing supervision, such as a mental health worker; family member; a family friend; or other mutually agreed upon third party. Here, the primary focus of supervision is to ward against whatever negative behavior that may have precipitated the requirement of supervised parenting time. Therefore in these situations, generally, a capable and responsible adult may provide sufficient supervision of a parent’s parenting time.
There is no set period for how long a parent’s time with their child(ren) ought to be supervised by a third party. Depending on the nature of the parent’s behavior, the participation of the parties, results of supervised parenting time, subsequent developments, or other factors, all may impact the duration of supervised parenting time. Furthermore, because the court has quite a bit of discretion, supervised parenting time may be expanded or shortened depending on a court’s findings. The bottom line is that the court wants to see positive developments and progress. The purpose of ordering supervised parenting time is generally to impose a temporary restriction, with a long-term goal of moving towards unsupervised parenting time.
Certain types of supervised parenting time may, for one reason or another, be appropriate in your case. If you have questions regarding supervised parenting time, take the time to talk to a family law attorney. Here at Modern Family Law, we dedicate our practice to family law and we offer free consultations with our family law attorneys. Take the time to call us today for a free consultation with one of our family law attorneys.
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