When a divorcing parent has safety concerns around the other parent, the courts in Illinois often set up supervised visitation opportunities. Many situations can put a child’s safety at risk, and parents have the right to request supervised visitation for the other parent if they feel a safety issue exists. Understanding what this entails and how it may protect children will help parents move forward with custody arrangements and make the best requests from the courts.
What Is Supervised Visitation?
The state of Illinois strives to allow both parents parenting time with their children whenever it is safe to do so as part of parenting plans. Sometimes a child may not be safe when with a parent alone due to a number of concerns. Supervised visitation is a type of visitation where the child is able to spend time with the non-custodial parent, but only with supervision from a court-appointed individual. This protects the parenting time and the child’s relationship with the parent, without putting the child’s safety at risk.
At a supervised visitation time, a third party attends with the child. That party must observe and keep the child safe while the child spends time with their parent. These visits take place in the parent’s home or in a public place. Sometimes the place must receive court approval.
What Situations Warrant Supervised Visitation
Supervised visitation is awarded when the child’s safety is at risk. This can be due to allegations of abuse. It can also be awarded if the parent struggles with mental illness or addiction, both of which put the child in a vulnerable position. If the family has a history of abandonment, which would leave the child feeling unsafe with the parent, supervised visitation may be warranted. A family law attorney is often necessary to prove these situations because the courts tend to lean towards giving both parents parenting time.
What Proofs Are Required?
In order to prove that a parent would put the child at risk, the other parent would need sufficient evidence. This can include testimony from the parent, as well as medical records, evidence of abuse or neglect, and testimony from experts. The courts must believe that the parent’s conduct puts the child’s mental, moral, or physical health at significant risk or would impair the child’s emotional development, or they are unlikely to require supervised visitation.