Parents in Virginia who separate or divorce may experience a wide range of options for child custody. While some families may choose joint custody or extensive visitation, this is not always a possibility. In some cases, there could be serious concerns about one parent’s ability to care for the child. Such parents may have supervised visitation, which is when they can only see the child with the supervision of another person.

The supervisor for visitation could be a professional like a counselor or social worker. In other instances, it might be a family member. The actual visits generally occur at the parent’s home, in a public place or a specialized visitation facility. Supervised visitation may be used in cases of reports of domestic violence or alcohol or substance dependency. Because the courts recognize that children benefit from relationships with both of their parents, supervised visitation offers a structured mechanism for troubled parents to remain in their children’s lives.

The details of the supervised visitation process would be contained in a court order. In some cases, supervised visitation may be used temporarily, especially if the parent is currently under investigation for abuse or domestic violence. A parent who overcomes an addiction to alcohol or drugs could also eventually move toward more traditional visitation.

Supervised visitation can be an important tool to protect child safety when unstable situations or difficult parents are involved. If a parent has concerns that their child is endangered or mistreated by the other parent, a family law attorney can help them advocate for protective solutions.