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Supervised Visitation

Supervised visitation allows parents in high conflict or high risk situations access to their children in a safe and supervised environment. Sometimes, a judge will decide that in order for a child to have contact with a parent, a neutral third person must be present during any visitation. This type of third-person visitation arrangement is often called “supervised visitation” for many reasons, like:

  • When there are parenting concerns or mental illness
  • To help reintroduce a parent after a long absence
  • To help introduce a parent and a child when there has been no existing relationship between the parent and child
  • When there is a history or allegations of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or substance abuse
  • When there is a parental threat of abduction
  • To give the visiting parent a chance to address specific issues
The court order will specify the duration of the visits. The supervisors follow the court order, are unbiased observers, and do not make recommendations. Supervisors simply document what they observe.

Tips for the Visiting Parent

Being with your child in the presence of someone else may be uncomfortable for you, at least at the beginning. You probably have many questions and concerns. Do your best to focus on your relationship with your child. Your patience and commitment will pay off. Here are some suggestions that might be helpful to you:

  • Read the court order
  • Arrive and depart on time
  • Avoid discussing the court case or terms of the visit with your child
  • Avoid quizzing your child about the other parent’s activities and relationships
  • Avoid making your child a messenger to the other party
  • Say brief and positive good-byes to your child when the visit is over

Tips for the Custodial Parent

Supervised visitation can also be a challenge for you. Typically you have been taking care of your child’s everyday needs and have a routine for yourself and your family. You usually have concerns and questions about the visits and how they will affect your child. This is understandable. Here are a few suggestions that might help you in the process:

  • Read the court order
  • Explain to your child where and when the visits will take place
  • Have your child ready on time and be prompt
  • Reassure you child that you support him or her in having a pleasant visit
  • Avoid quizzing your child about the visit
  • Avoid making your child a messenger to the other party

To Both Parents

Supervised visitation can be difficult and uncomfortable at times. Often there are hurt and angry feelings toward the other parent, and it seems impossible to have a positive attitude about the supervised visitation. Remember, that both of you care about your children, and that, if possible, children benefit greatly from having two parents in their lives.

At the Center for Family Mediation we aim to create the most natural “at home” environment to ensure safe, secure and enjoyable visitations. To begin the supervised visitation, we have two locations to choose from, Hayden and Sandpoint. The Hayden office offers more amenities such as inside and outside walking trails, grassy fields to play in, and a small gym/weight room to be active in. Both locations provide safe and comfortable environments to watch movies, play games and enjoy your time together. Once the visits become established there are options to take the visits off campus and meet at a local park or other desirable activity.

For more information or to reserve an appointment please fill out the Client Intake form and one of our supervisors will respond shortly.

Contact us with any questions you may have about Supervised Visitation.

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