What is Supervised Visitation?

A parent helps their small child walk on a sandy beach

In Florida there is a presumption that parental responsibilities and time sharing shall be equally shared between the parties unless such contact with the child will cause detriment. If detriment is found, the court may award sole custody to a single parent or order a time sharing plan that involves supervised visitation between a parent and child. If you are a parent who has questions regarding your supervised time sharing order, or the supervised time sharing occurring between your child, and their parent contact a Florida Child Custody Attorney today to discuss your case.

The goal of the court is to protect the vulnerable population of children. Therefore, they seek to find their best interest and implement it into every parenting plan before them. This is why the presumption of shared parental responsibility, absent detrimental effects to the child is in place. Detrimental effects are shown in cases where there has been abuse to the child; the parent has removed a child from the state in an attempt to conceal them; the parent has been deemed a sexual predator; there have been instances of neglect; sexual misconduct; history of substance abuse, or the parent has been convicted of domestic violence. If this evidence has been presented, the parent is entitled to a hearing prior to a custody determination. However, if the court finds that the parent was unable to rebut this presumption of detrimental effects they may have on the child, at the hearing, the court will order supervised visitation or suspend visitation with the child altogether.

Rather than removing all contact between the parent and the child, the court will likely order supervised visitation. This is due to the presumption and scientific understanding that a child’s best interest involves having both parents remain in their life. However, safety is crucial. Therefore, such visitation can occur in a few different ways. However, the overarching idea remains, that the child is not left alone with the parent for any time during the visitation with the child. Therefore, the visitation may be supervised by the other parent, a friend, relative or social worker. In severe cases, the court may order the visitation be conducted by “a person who has previously received special training in the dynamics of child sexual abuse;” or in a visitation center that is regulated by state statute and regulations. 39.0139 When ordering supervised visitation, the court will detail the individual responsible for supervision, the place of the visitation, as well as the duration and amount of visits to occur. If the supervisor of the visitation witnesses any action by the parent that is inappropriate with the child, they may terminate the visit and report this conduct. Such actions may include, coming to a visit intoxicated, or physically hurting the child during their time. If any of these events occur, contact your Florida Child Custody Attorney immediately.

If you are a parent who feels that your child may need protection and have supervised visits with your former partner, contact a Florida Child Custody Attorney. We will be able to walk through this difficult process with you and evaluate your unique case and seek to ultimately protect your child.

Speaking to an attorney at our Florida office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 850-307-5221 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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