When you and your co-parent go through the custody process in California, you will need to make decisions on parenting time, which means when each of you will have your child in your care.
If you cannot agree, a court will order a parenting time schedule. You might be in a situation where you are concerned about your child spending time with your co-parent alone and want the visits supervised by a third party.
Proving why supervised custody is necessary
A court can order supervised visitation. However, if you request supervised visitation, you have a high burden to meet in terms of proving why the supervision is necessary.
Courts generally order supervised visitation when there is evidence that a child will be in danger around a parent.
When supervised visitation is often ordered
Common reasons for an order of supervised visitation include evidence of child abuse, neglect, domestic violence, substance abuse or mental health issues.
Again, you must prove these factors are present. For example, if you assert that your co-parent abuses your child, you must present evidence of the abuse.
Gathering your evidence
Evidence in a situation like this could include things like your child’s testimony or pictures of physical injuries. You must prove any injuries were caused by your co-parent. Additionally, depending on your child’s age, their testimony can be seen as unreliable.
Supervised visitation can also be ordered when your co-parent has never had a relationship with the child or has not interacted with the child for a long time. Your child may not know them and visits with a third party who you child feels comfortable with may be appropriate until your child becomes familiar with your co-parent.
Prepare yourself for a challenge
Obtaining supervised visitation is harder than it may initially seem. California custody law is based on the best interests of the child and courts presume equal time with each parent is best.
If you feel supervised visitation is best in your situation, it is best to talk to a professional and learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.