As if the stress of divorcing is not enough, some parents must also deal with possible risks to their children’s safety when they’re with their other parent. Courts rarely remove child access rights altogether, but they may approve a request for supervision during visits between your kids and your co-parent.
Supervised visitation is available under Texas law. However, judges do not typically issue such orders without evidence that unsupervised visits could endanger your children.
What circumstances indicate a need for supervision?
Every family has unique dynamics, but there are some relatively common reasons a court may order supervised visitation. These include:
- Threats to abduct the kids
- Violence or threatened violence against the children
- Violence or threatened violence against the custodial parent
- Severe mental illness
- Prior or current emotional abuse of the kids
- Chronic substance abuse and addiction
- Prior neglect of the children
- History of dangerous family situations
A court may order supervised visitation in more unusual circumstances. For example, if a non-custodial parent who was absent for most of the child’s life wants to reunite, supervision may be required at first.
Who supervises the visits?
You can ask a family member or close friend if they will supervise visits between your kids and your co-parent. Alternatively, you can hire an agency that provides these services for a fee. One possible advantage of agency supervision is that the employees are trained to ensure children are safe and secure.
Take immediate action
Hopefully, your children are not in immediate danger, but if you have valid concerns for their safety, don’t wait to seek help. Legal guidance can help you navigate this process as smoothly as possible.