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Supervised visitation: What you need to know

In most situations, parents have free access to their children during parenting time as determined by the child custody order, but sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances that bring the concept of supervised visitation into play. Whether you are seeking supervised visitation for when your children are with your ex or are trying to combat accusations of neglect or abuse, understanding why the Florida courts mandate supervised visitation in some situations can help you be better prepared for your own case.

One of the most common reasons that a parent is ordered to have supervised visitation is a history of abuse. Generally, these cases will involve abuse of the child in question, but in some situations, a history of domestic violence can also give cause for supervised visitations. Because the courts generally believe that unhindered access to both parents is in the best interests of the child, it can be difficult to get the courts to agree to supervised visitation.

Things to consider in these cases are whether there is any evidence of a history of abuse and the strength of that evidence. Police reports or the fact that the children have been removed from the home before may have a stronger effect on the courts over just the other parent's statement that abuse has occurred.

If supervised visitation is ordered, the parent will have to have another person present at all times when he or she is with the child. Who this person is depends on the situation, but a family member or third party are options as long as the courts approve.

Source: FindLaw, "Parental Visitation Rights FAQ," accessed June 22, 2015

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