In cases involving child custody and visitation, the Arizona court system always has the best interests of the child or children in mind. A judge will not take the decision to order supervised visitation lightly, and a number of factors must be considered prior to making such a ruling. As such, you need a qualified attorney working on your behalf in order to present all of the facts and pertinent case information to the court. Today’s post will take an in-depth look at when supervised visitation is the best option, and how to go about arguing your case for supervised visits.
Is Supervised Visitation Right for My Child?
Whatever personal conflict you may have with your child’s other parent, your personal feelings mean little in the Arizona court system. In order to have a judge order supervised visits between the other parent and your child, you’ll need to work closely with Schill Law Group to prove that supervised visits are, indeed, the best option for the child.
So, how do you do this, and how do you know for sure that supervised visitation is the best way to go? Arizona Code Section 25-403 outlines the guidelines for making decisions regarding child custody and visitation in situations where the parents are unable to come to an agreement on their own. Because the safety and stability of the children are the most important factors, a judge will usually only consider supervised visits when it can be proved that one parent may not be able to offer a safe, stable, and supportive environment. Some common scenarios in which supervised visitation may be court-ordered include:
- When parents haven’t had much, or any, parenting time before. Sometimes, a parent has not been previously involved in the child’s upbringing. The Arizona court system may order supervised visitation for a specified length of time in order to allow the parent and child to become better acquainted with one another before unsupervised visits can be permitted.
- When parents have a history of domestic violence. If there is any history of domestic violence, a judge will often designate a person to supervise parenting time.
- When parents face grave mental health issues. If it is determined that a parent’s mental health conditions are severe enough that they impair judgment and the ability to safely parent a child, the court may order supervised visitation or limited contact.
- When parents are living in an unsafe environment. If it is determined that a home environment is unsafe or unsanitary, the children may be removed and supervised visits may be ordered until the home is restored to livable conditions.
- When parents are believed to be using illegal drugs. If a parent has a problem with illegal drug use, the court may determine that supervised visits are necessary. In some cases, a judge may order regular drug testing as a condition of both supervised or unsupervised visitation.
Arguing for Supervised Visitation
If you believe that supervised visits between your child and his or her other parent are in the best interest of the child, you will need to be able to clearly and objectively present your case to a judge. Your best bet for making a compelling argument is to hire an experienced legal professional who knows how to present the facts to the judge and make the best argument for your child. A seasoned attorney will also be able to fight for certain conditions to be met, such as court-enforced drug testing in order for supervised visits to take place.