Divorce involving children often ends with one parent being the primary custodial parent, with the other, relegated to a visitation schedule.
Depending on the circumstances of the divorce decree the non-custodial parent will either receive supervised or unsupervised visitation rights. What are the exact differences between the two and are they as clear-cut as they sound?
Let’s take a closer look at different visitation rights in Fort Worth, Texas and how divorced couples have to work through the unique circumstances of each child custody schedule.
What is the Difference Between Supervised and Unsupervised Visitation?
While both visitation types are set on a schedule that both parents deem acceptable, there are definitely some large differences between supervised and unsupervised visitation.
The biggest difference is in the names. Unsupervised visits mean that one parent picks up the child for a scheduled amount of time, they spend their time together, unsupervised, then the child is returned to the custodial parent.
Supervised visitations are not as freeing an experience and mean that a non-custodial parent must be supervised by another adult at all times of the scheduled visit. These visits are also highly restrictive of when and where a visit takes place.
Who Supervises During Visitation?
As you now know, supervised visitation equates to another adult supervising the visit for its entirety. Adults eligible to monitor a supervised visit are:
- All supervisors approved by the courts
- Individuals that both parents agree upon for supervision
- Neighbors or friends who know both parents
- Social workers that facilitate the visit to the point of returning the child to the custodial parent
- A court-appointed guardian ad litem
Why Would a Parent Have Supervised Visitation Rights?
Supervised visitations during or after a divorce aren’t the preferred visitation method for any parent. However, if a non-custodial parent is required supervision if the court or the custodial parent deems they are a safety or health risk to the child.
Some circumstances where a person would require supervision could be:
- A record of domestic violence
- A history of sexual abuse
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Not having the financial means to provide a safe environment for the child
- A mental illness that prevents the safe custody of a child
Is Supervised Visitation Permanent?
Fortunately, people can change, and supervised visitation isn’t always a permanent situation. If a person wishes to change to unsupervised visitation, they can ask the courts to modify their court order.
In order for a parent to change their visitation status this way, they usually have to meet court-ordered requirements that tend to revolve around the reasons for the initial visitation decree.
Keep in mind that a request isn’t always honored, and unsupervised visitations can also be changed to supervised if the non-custodial parent begins to behave in a way that endangers the children of the marriage.
Fighting for Visitation Rights?
If you are on the verge of a divorce and know that when the process starts, there’s a battle ahead for custody, the Nilsson Legal Group is ready to fight by your side.
Our Fort Worth divorce lawyers have the experience you need to help get through all of the hurdles of a messy divorce.
Contact us today to learn more about our services and to schedule your free consultation with a member of our team.