When there's a concern that a non-custodial parent may not properly care for a child during his or her visitations, the court may order those visitations to be supervised by a third party. As you can imagine, these types of visits can make it difficult for parents and children to truly engage with each other and build their relationships. However, ending a supervised visitation order can be challenging. Here's what you need to do to handle this situation.
Find Out Whether the Order Can Be Overturned
Before you go through the effort and expense of fighting a supervised visitation order, you need to determine whether the order can be overturned in your case. The court will order supervised visits for a number of reasons, and some reasons automatically prevent the parent from ever being alone with the child ever again.
The most common reason for a permanent supervised visitation order is when the child is a victim of sexual abuse by the parent. Regardless of whether the parent received treatment for the issue that caused them to abuse their child and/or completed their jail term, the courts generally will not allow them to be with the kid(s) without a third party around.
In fact, in some states, being convicted of sexual assault on any minor child will result in a permanent supervised visitation order. For example, in Missouri, you would only be granted visitation rights as long as it would be in the best interest of the child. Your time with your child would be limited, and there must always be someone else in the room. The restricted visitation rights would be in effect for as long as the conviction was in effect.
However, the state may also refuse to rescind a supervised visitation order in cases of severe abuse or neglect of the child, domestic violence if the parent is still with the abuser, and unaddressed mental health issues. It's best to consult with an attorney who can tell you what your chances of getting the order cancelled are.
Gather Evidence You Are Now a Fit Parent
A supervised visitation order was put in place in your case because the court felt you were unfit to parent the child in some way or represented a danger to him or her. Thus, you need to provide evidence the issues that caused you to be designated an unfit parent have been resolved.
For example, if the court ordered supervised visitation because the custodial parent proved you were addicted to drugs, you would need to show you have been clean for a period of time. A letter from the rehabilitation center where you received treatment can be immensely helpful here, as would a recent drug testing report performed by a respected healthcare provider or lab.
Different issues will require different types of evidence, and sometimes you may be required to continuously submit proof of improvement over time (e.g., 3 months' worth of clean drug tests). You can generally get a sense of what you'll need by reading the language of the supervised visitation order, but an attorney can also let you know what type of information to gather.
File a Motion of Modified Custody/Visitation
Lastly, you'll need to file a motion to modify the custody/visitation order. You can typically find the required forms online or get them from the court clerk. After submitting the paperwork, a hearing will be scheduled where you'll provide proof and testimony of your fitness to parent. In addition to any paperwork you may have, you should also bring witnesses that can support your claim.
Be aware that the custodial parent can object to the changes, but he or she will typically have to file counterproof that altering the visitation order would not be in the best interest of the children. Try to anticipate any objections the co-parent may have and provide evidence to counter them.
For more information about changing a supervised visitation order or help with your case, contact an attorney.Share
25 January 2018
I was blessed to have grown up in a home with loving supportive parents. They both worked extremely hard in order for me and my sister to enjoy a better life than they had. Financially, they bought me a new car when I was sixteen. They also paid for my college expenses. Many parents do the same for their kids. They want to provide for them in the present while safeguarding their futures. One way parents can invest in their kids’ futures is by placing money in trusts that their children can utilize when they reach a certain age. A reputable attorney can establish beneficial trusts for your kids. On this blog, you will learn about the benefits of consulting with an attorney about setting up trusts for your children.