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Supervised visits for parents in New York

A New York parent who is separated from an abusive spouse may wonder whether they should go to court and ask for supervised visits for the other parent. In a supervised visit, a parent spends time with a child in controlled situations in which a third party is always present.

If an abusive parent has filed for custody, the other parent may wish to ask for a supervised visit. However, if the other parent has not filed, it may be wiser to speak with an attorney first. Parents should be aware that supervised visits are usually considered temporary measures and generally open the way for visits that are unsupervised and longer in duration. One or both parents may be required to bear the cost of certain types of supervised visits in which a social worker or other professional observes the visitation and takes notes. In other cases, the visit may be supervised by a mental health professional, a relative or a friend.

A judge may also order a certain type of exchange in which a visit is not supervised but the conditions under which one parent hands the child over to the other are specified. In a neutral exchange, the parents may exchange the child at a location such as a library or police station while a monitored transition may include a third party.

Parents who are divorcing may want to consult an attorney about issues around custody and visitation and their rights. If the relationship is a contentious one or one parent feels the need to protect the child from the other parent, it is important to know that the other parent may still have legal rights, and a court may make a significant effort to ensure that the child retains some contact with both parents. An attorney may be able to discuss strategies that might keep the child safe.

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