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A Colorado Springs Child Custody Lawyer Discusses Supervised Visitation: Part Two

Friday, 13 August 2010

blog-logoIn light of recent changes in Colorado divorce law, specifically with regard to child custody, it is important for noncustodial parents to have a legal understanding of how certain behaviors might impact their visitation.  Earlier this week, in “Part One”, I explained how supervised visitation works, and who is most vulnerable to it. 

As a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer, I have seen many parents request supervised visitation simply becaus e they don’t want their children exposed to their husband’s new girlfriend.  However, in order for a custodial parent to have the court deny visitation rights to the other parent, it is imperative that they provide proof of how that parent’s behavior runs contrary to their child’s best interests. 

Below are some acts that typify the court’s definition as “contrary to the child’s best interests”:

  • Physical endangerment / Violence:  When the parent has abused or threatened physical violence against a child, he or she may be denied visitation.  In some states, spousal abuse is also considered as evidence when awarding visitation rights.
  • Emotional abuse: When a parent can prove that the other parent has caused emotional harm to the child, the abusive parent’s rights may be denied or limited.  Bed-wetting, poor school performance and stuttering may indicate the presence of emotional harm. 
  • Mental Illness:  When a parent is incapable of caring for a child due to a mental illness that may put the child in danger, the court may decide to curtail visitation rights or order supervised visitation.
  • Sexual behavior:  Courts may cancel overnight visits with a parent who is cohabitating with another adult, but only if the relationship is causing undue stress on the child.  Under normal circumstances, the court will not deny visitation based solely on a non-marital heterosexual relationship. 
  • Substance abuse:  When a parent is shown to abuse drugs or alcohol, and their conduct puts their child in danger, the court may deny visitation altogether or order supervised visitation at all times. 

Other reasons for limiting or denying visitation rights include the possibility of abduction, harmful religious practices, incarceration, and even the wishes of the child.  To learn more about how to handle situations like these in front of a custody judge, consult with an experienced Colorado Springs child custody lawyer.

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