Divorce is never easy for anyone, especially when there is a custody dispute. You may even be apprehensive about visitation if there are concerns about your spouse's substance abuse, child abuse, neglect or when a parent was previously absent. Depending on your situation, supervised visitation may be the best option.
Supervised visitation is when a neutral third-party monitors the time one parent spends with the child when that parent's visitation rights are subject to certain restrictions or limitations. There are two types of monitors who provide supervision services.
Typically, a family member or friend monitors the visitation and is unpaid for the service. Unless the court orders something different or you and the other party agree, the non-professional provider must fit certain criteria:
- They must have no convictions for child molestation, abuse or other crimes against another person.
- The provider must have proof of vehicle insurance in order to transport the child.
- No current or past order where they are the person being supervised.
- The provider must follow the court order for the supervised visits.
- And, the provider must file a form with the court before they can begin supervising visits.
Professional providers supervise visits for a fee and can be either an independent contractor or work for a visitation center. Professional providers should meet the following:
- 21 years or older
- No DUIs within the past five years
- No probation or parole within the last 10 years
- No conviction for child molestation, abuse or crimes against another person
- Have proof of auto insurance if they will transport the child
- Have no civil, criminal or juvenile restraining orders within the past 10 years
- No court order where they are the person being supervised
- The provider must be able to speak the language of the person being supervised and the child or have a neutral interpreter who is older than 18
- No conflict of interest
- Agree to uphold the supervised visitation order
- Meet certain California training requirements and file a declaration with the court every year.
Additionally, the provider should not discuss the case or support one party over the other. The provider should only discuss the next visitation arrangements and safety.