Supervised visitation means that while you still do get to see your child, you do not get to do so alone. A third party must be with you through the entire visit. Sometimes, this is your ex, but it could also be a social worker.
Reasons that you may be ordered to use supervised visitation include:
- You physically abused a family member in the past and there is proof.
- You have a history of alcohol and drug abuse.
- The court is worried that you may try to abduct your own child.
- You have a mental illness that has been diagnosed by a medical professional.
- Emotional abuse has occurred in the past and there is proof.
- Your child has asked for supervised visitation. This usually only happens with older children who may make the request if they do not feel fully safe, even if the court lacks other reasons to mandate supervised visitation. The child's best interests always come first.
- The living environment the child encounters during visits is not optimal and may present safety hazards.
- The court is concerned about other people -- those you live with, for instance -- that the child may come into contact with during a visit.
- You served time in jail in the past or otherwise have a criminal record that is a red flag to the court.
In general, the court just tries to protect the child. You may know that you would never harm your own child, but the court cannot ignore some common red flags. Make sure you understand your rights as a parent and your obligations are under the custody order.
Source: Live About, "What You Need to Know About Supervised Visitation," Cathy Meyer, accessed June 07, 2018