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Reasons a judge may consider supervised visitation

Family court judges in Massachusetts strive to order the most fair and beneficial outcomes for children involved in custody disputes. As such, they may consider supervised visitation in cases where there are concerns about the safety, well-being or development of a child.

Supervised visitation involves a court-ordered arrangement where visits between a parent and child are monitored by a neutral third party or professional supervisor.

When is supervised visitation considered by the court?

A judge may consider supervised visitation if one or more of the following concerns are present:

  • Parental incapacity: If one of the parents has a documented history of mental illness, substance abuse or other conditions that impair their ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the child during unsupervised visits, the court may deem supervised visitation necessary.
  • Estrangement: In cases where the child has been estranged from one parent for an extended period either due to parental alienation or strained familial relationships, supervised visitation may be considered. By facilitating supervised visitation, the court aims to facilitate the reestablishment of trust and communication between the parent and child while ensuring the child’s emotional well-being and safety are prioritized.
  • Safety concerns: If there is a history of domestic violence, child abuse, neglect or other behaviors that pose a risk to the child’s safety during unsupervised visits, the court may order supervised visitation. This measure ensures that the child is protected from potential harm while still allowing them to maintain contact with the parent.
  • Risk of abduction: Where one parent poses a risk of attempting to remove the child from the jurisdiction or withhold visitation rights from the other parent, supervised visitation may be implemented by the court. This precautionary measure helps to prevent the possibility of parental abduction and ensures that the child’s best interests and safety remain safeguarded.

If you are a Massachusetts parent considering divorce, seeking legal counsel can help you to benefit from essential support and guidance throughout custody negotiations, including addressing the potential necessity for supervised visitation.