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Supervised visitation: Helping kids safely see their parents

Psychologists and Florida courts agree: The more time children spend with both parents, the better off they are psychologically and emotionally and they grow and mature. However, what happens if one of the parents is a violent criminal, a registered sex offender or has committed domestic violence against his or her family on multiple occasions?

Even in cases of a potentially dangerous parent, courts recognize that it's important for children to have time with the parent. However, the court will want these visits to be supervised in a safe environment to protect the children from harm. This is where the practice of supervised visitation comes into play.

Supervised parental visitation can happen in a lot of different ways. Here are some of the most common ways it's organized:

  • One-on-one supervision: Here a parent will spend time with his or her child alone, but a court-appointed or court-approved supervisor will be present. Sometimes other guests may attend.
  • Group supervision: This might happen in a larger area, where there will be multiple supervisors and multiple parents and their children will be present visiting one another at a designated facility.
  • Monitored virtual visits: Parents might visit with their children via Skype, Facebook or another kind of video conferencing. These virtual visits may be monitored for safety purposes.
  • Therapeutic supervision: In this model, a parent will visit with his or her children together with a licensed mental health therapist, who assists with child-parent therapy.

Supervised visitation should be viewed positively. Without it, courts would likely not permit parents believed to be dangerous from seeing their children at all. If you have legal concerns about any kind of supervised parental visitation plan, The Law Office of Kelley A. Joseph, PA, can assist you in navigating the issue in a strategic and lawfully appropriate manner.

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