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When is Supervised Parenting Time Appropriate?

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

If a Colorado court has determine that time spent with a parent may present either physical or emotional danger to a child, the court may order “supervised visitation”.  However, in order for this to be decided, evidence of such danger must be presented in court.  Evidence of domestic violence (even if there have been no convictions), psychological abuse, or alcohol / drug abuse may be presented to the court for consideration in a custody hearing, but it isn’t always appropriate. 

If you think your ex-spouse would present a danger to your children during scheduled parenting time, consult with a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer to determine the best course of action.  Usually, unless the endangerment involves a criminal conviction for certain violent crimes, the court-ordered supervision may be performed by anyone, as long as the parties and the judge agree.  Sometimes, a relative or friend will be assigned to monitor parenting time, but in other cases it is advised that supervision is done by an approved agency. 

The Down Side of Court Ordered Supervision

Your ex-spouse may be assigned to a court-appointed agency, in which case there will be a cost associated with their visitation time.  While this type of arrangement may feel more comfortable for you, it is very limiting to your children and their other parent.  Some parents may eventually decide to limit their parenting time because of the cost and limitations.  Plus, this type of supervised visitation often causes considerable friction between the parents and an uncomfortable situation for the children.  Whenever possible, it makes sense to consider a family-appointed party for the supervision of parenting time. 

Examine Your Own Motivations

Be careful that you are not trying to “punish” your ex-spouse by making unsubstantiated claims about their behavior.  Exaggerating or misrepresenting the situation in court, as this could backfire.  Allegations of unfit parenting will add an explosive element to an already contentious custody proceeding, so be sure you are doing this for the right reasons.  A Colorado Springs child custody lawyer can help you to gather appropriate evidence to support your case, argue on your behalf in court, and take protective measures to keep your children safe. 

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