When is Supervised Time-Sharing Appropriate?
Although Florida courts generally prefer that couples share parenting time in child custody cases, they are ultimately guided by what would be in a specific child’s best interests. In some situations, primarily when there is a history of abuse or neglect in a family, this could take the form of a judge awarding supervised time-sharing, which is an arrangement that allows a parent to spend time with his or her child only while in the presence of another adult. Supervised time-sharing orders are relatively rare, but do often prove to be in a child’s best interests, so if you have concerns about the safety of your own child when with his or her other parent, or your own time with your child has been unfairly restricted, you should speak with an experienced Clearwater child custody lawyer who can evaluate the circumstances of your case and advise you accordingly.
What is Supervised Time-Sharing?
Supervised time-sharing arrangements limit parents to supervised interactions with their children, usually while in the presence of another adult, such as:
- The child’s other parent;
- A close relative or family friend; or
- A trained social worker.
Courts are generally wary of restricting a parent’s rights to have access to his or her children and instead prefer to grant parents some form of shared physical time-sharing privileges. However, when deemed necessary to protect a child’s health and physical safety, a judge can issue a supervised time-sharing order, even when both parents object, as long as they are motivated by what would be in the child’s best interests.
When is Supervised Time-Sharing Necessary?
Supervised time-sharing is only required in a few specific cases, namely when there has been a demonstrated history of:
- Physical abuse;
- Emotional abuse;
- Sexual misconduct;
- Substance abuse; or
- Parental neglect.
Typically, a request for supervised time-sharing is raised by a child’s other parent, a social worker, or even the court itself. When ordered, these arrangements must meet certain minimum standards. For instance, all orders related to supervised visitation must include details about the logistics of those supervised visits, including where they will take place and how long they will last. Furthermore, the court will need to select a supervisor to oversee the visits, such as a trained professional or a specific family member. In many cases, supervised time-sharing arrangements are only temporary and if successful, can lead to the restoration of full time-sharing rights.
Is Supervised Time-Sharing Right for Your Family?
Supervised time-sharing matters should be handled on a case-by-case basis, so if you believe that your child’s contact with his or her other parent should be limited, or your own parental rights are being unfairly restricted, please call 727-683-1472 to speak with an experienced Clearwater child custody lawyer at Cairns Law about how to proceed with your case. We know that life gets busy and so are more than happy to schedule consultations in the evening as well as on weekends.