The Truth About Supervised Visitation in Nevada
About once a week, we get a client demanding that their ex endure supervised visitation.
Judges don’t hand out visitation like candy.
Supervised visitation is the exception, not the rule in custody cases.
It often takes a rare circumstance for a judge to order supervised visitation.
Get answers to your most asked questions about supervised visitation here.
Supervised visitation, what is it?
Supervised visitation is a type of visitation. It allows the non-custodial parent to maintain contact with their children. But, their contact occurs in a controlled setting.
Why would a judge consider supervised visitation?
A judge will consider it if a parent is unsafe to be around their child.
For example, if a parent is abusing cocaine, it is likely the judge will order supervised visits. Having a parent high on meth around their child is unsafe unless someone is there to protect the child.
Think of it this way . . .
Generally, supervised visitation is protecting children from dangerous situations. At the same time, it allows parents access to their children in a safe setting.
Who supervises the visits if a judge if I have to have my visits supervised?
There are many types of supervised visitation.
In Nevada, the most restrictive is visitation that occurs at the Courthouse. It gets run through programs called Donna’s House or Child Haven.
If a judge is considering having visits supervised, a social worker watches over it.
Also, both parents go through an orientation to discuss visitation rules.
And keep in mind… there are usually lots of rules. For example, the supervised parent may not be able to bring gifts for the child or food to the visitation.
Finally, these types of visits usually need both parties to make payments at the time of each visit.
What if supervision gets ordered but not at a courthouse or through a formal program?
Your judge may order a friend or family member to be the supervisor.
These visits can usually occur at a park, a restaurant, or other community settings.
The supervisor is usually someone both parents approve of.
The judge may restrict your activities with the child during the visitation.
For example, the judge may say that you can only visit with the child at the supervisor’s home.
Or the judge may say, the supervisor must provide line of sight supervision.
This means that the supervisor must be able to see you and the child at all times during the visitation.
Finally, a judge might also consider community visitation. This means that the parent does not need a specific supervisor to watch visitation. The visits between parent and child must occur in a public place, usually a restaurant.
Why will a judge order my visitation to get supervised?
Judges order supervised visitation for many different reasons.
Child safety is usually the biggest reason.
For instance, if a parent has a known drug or alcohol problem, it’s likely the judge will order it.
If you cannot provide suitable living arrangements, it’s likely supervision will get ordered. For example, if a parent is homeless or resides somewhere that is not safe for the children.
If the parent and child don’t know each other very well . . . you guessed it! Supervised visits.
In these circumstances, the judge could order supervision in a therapist’s office. Supervised visits for short periods by a friend so the child gets to know the parent is another way. Establishing the parent-child bond is critical when trying to lift any supervision requirements.
Each case depends on the facts and is up to the judge.
Why should a parent think twice about requesting supervised visitation?
It occurs at the Courthouse and is NOT fun for kids.
It places your children under a microscope and is uncomfortable for everyone involved.
Second, long-term court-ordered supervised visits are expensive. You pay for each supervised visit. If court-supervised visits occur many times a week, it gets expensive.
Parents requesting visitation should consider requesting Court supervised visits. It’s also wise to discuss the pros and cons of their specific case with an attorney.
Visitation supervised by a friend or family member should also get considered.
Present the friend/family member supervisor to the judge and have them vetted at court.
You need to be sure your proposed supervisor is able to accommodate the visits. Judges don’t like it when a parent proposes someone to supervise and they cancel visits.
When can I get my supervised visits changed?
It depends on the facts of your case.
A safety concern, like drug abuse, needs you to provide evidence that is no longer an issue.
An estranged relationship with your child requires you to:
prove you and the child now have a good relationship,
that the child is not afraid or timid around you,
and that you can care for the child outside of a supervised setting.
How do I explain to the Judge that my case needs to have supervised visitation for the other parent?
Make certain that your case warrants having the other parent get supervised visits.
Never demand supervision because you want the other parent to jump through hoops. The judge will consider you unreasonable and your request will get denied.
Your case should have some element of child safety concerns.
When should I call a lawyer?
Talk to a lawyer if you are the parent making the request that the other parent’s visits get supervised.
Talk to the attorney about the specific facts of your case. The lawyer will provide guidance to help you get the best possible outcome for you and your children.
If you are being ordered to have your visits supervised, call a lawyer.
Questions about supervised visits?