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How supervised visitation works

Parents in California who are divorced might wonder what is involved in supervised visitation. Supervised visitation is generally ordered when a parent is considered unfit in some way. This might be because of domestic abuse, mental illness or addiction. Supervised visitation allows the parent to continue having a relationship with the child while keeping the child safe.

The visit is generally supervised by a social worker or a relative of the child. Usually, there is a place designated for the visit to which the parent must travel.

Supervised visits may be permanent or temporary and may also come with conditions. For example, supervised visits might last until a parent has completed a drug rehabilitation program. Supervised visitation might be enforced while allegations of abuse are investigated. If the allegations are found to have weight, supervised visitation might continue indefinitely. Parents who face these allegations should cooperate thoroughly with the investigation. A parent who is concerned about the safety of the child with the other parent should speak to a judge about those concerns. The court order dealing with the supervised visitation remains in place until a judge lifts it. The parent must go to court to present the change in circumstances and request that the lifting of the supervised visitation.

Even if parents agree on a child custody arrangement and measures such as supervised visitation are unnecessary, they may still benefit from a legally binding agreement. With a court order in place dealing with custody and visitation, a parent can return to court for help with enforcement of the child custody agreement if necessary. However, it is best if parents can work out other issues without going back to court. During the divorce, parents may, with a lawyer's assistance, also create a parenting agreement that deals with many different aspects of co-parenting and areas of potential conflict.

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