When it comes to co-parenting, nothing is more important than having a plan in place that accommodates the emotional, educational, and physical needs of your children. Although one parent may be awarded custody, parenting time for the other parent is vital to helping children maintain healthy relationships with them. Parenting time schedules can vary greatly in the amount of time each parent spends with the child or children, and it is certainly not a one size fits all outcome. Most parenting time schedules include a regular (day-to-day) schedule, a holiday schedule, a school break/summer schedule, and additional vacation time. In this blog post, we will discuss both supervised and unsupervised parenting time and the benefits associated with each arrangement.
Unsupervised Parenting Time
In an unsupervised parenting time arrangement, the parent exercising parenting time is allowed to visit the child at a set time without being accompanied by other adults during the visits. In this arrangement, the child is either dropped off or picked up at an agreed upon location. Unsupervised parenting time can include overnight and non-overnight parenting time.
Supervised Parenting Time
In supervised parenting time, the non-custodial parent is only allowed to visit the child in the company of a third party. Numerous factors may necessitate supervised parenting time, including, but not limited to:
- If the non-custodial parent abuses substances;
- If the non-custodial parent struggles with mental illness;
- If there has been physical abuse;
- If the unsupervised time would endangers the child.
The judge will set forth the location, frequency, and other parenting time details in the court order. Parenting time may occur at specific locations with trained staff or by a trusted friend, acquaintance, or family member. Selecting a person or organization to supervise parenting time warrants much consideration and may consider factors specific to the case. Additionally, parents should consider the facts warranting supervised parenting time when determining the level of supervision necessary to protect the child.
From Supervised to Unsupervised Parenting Time
After some time, a parent on a supervised parenting time arrangement may request a review of the orders to seek permission for unsupervised parenting time. This request may be granted if the parent meets certain conditions and requirements. These can include drug rehabilitation, anger management, or complete recovery from mental illness, or other actions related to the reason parenting time was supervised in the first place..
A non-custodial parent can be denied access to the child if the court rules that it is not in the child’s best interest. Parenting time rights can also be revoked if the visiting parent continually endangers the child’s safety during the visits. These rights can only be restored after the court confirms that measures have been taken to improve the situation.
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Our family law attorneys at Sheridan & Dulas, P.A. have experience helping clients navigate issues such as supervised and unsupervised parenting times in divorce. Contact us online today or call us directly at 651-686-8800 to speak to our attorneys today.