Divorce is never easy, but some individuals react more poorly to it than others. These individuals often try to harm the other spouse through emotional manipulation. Unfortunately, when children are involved, the spurned spouse will often use their children as pawns in his or her emotional games. From disallowing the other parent to see the children to failing to meet the other parent for scheduled visitation time, a scorned parent may try any number of tactics to “get back at” his or her former spouse. In the worst-case scenarios, the scorned parent may even commit parental alienation—the psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect, or hostility towards the other parent.
If your former spouse is making it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with your children, it may be time to seek court intervention. In these extreme cases, the court may order supervised or restricted visitation for the manipulative parent. Consult with a Dallas child custody attorney to learn more about the steps you need to take to put an end to the emotional games.
What is Supervised Visitation?
Supervised visitation is precisely what it sounds like: supervised visitation time between the non-custodial parent and his or her children. The third party is there to ensure that the parent does not attempt to physically or emotionally abuse the children. Oftentimes, a judge will allow a friend or family member to supervise the visit. However, too often family members want to believe the best of the parent being supervised, and so grant too much leeway during the visit, or fail to take proper measures to ensure the safety of the children. Because of the threat that such an arrangement may pose to both the children and the monitor – especially in cases of domestic violence – the third party is more often than not a neutral, court-appointed monitor who is able to enact general to extreme safety measures as the situation dictates (Texas Family Code, Section 153.005).
Ending Supervised Visitation
When a parent does require a neutral third party to monitor his or her visits with the children, the costs may become excessive, and the supervised parent may no longer be able to afford visitation time. If this happens before the courts can determine whether or not the children are safe in the unsupervised presence of the non-custodial parent, then that parent may no longer be able to see his or her children.
The court monitor may also responsible for providing progress reports after each supervised visit. These reports are meant to inform the courts of the supervised parent’s progress, and to make recommendations regarding future parenting rights. In some instances, the court-appointed monitor may recommend the discontinuation of supervised visitation if they feel that the visits are not in the best interests of the children. In others, the court-appointed monitor may feel that the supervised parent has made significant progress towards becoming a better parent, and allow unsupervised visits to be mixed in with supervised visits. Whatever the courts decide ultimately hinges on whether continued interaction with the non-custodial parent is beneficial or detrimental to the child’s emotional and physical well-being.
Grounds for Supervised Visitation
Emotional manipulation is just one of many reasons that a court may order supervised or restricted visitation in Dallas, Texas. A Court may consider the following factors when considering whether to order supervised visitation:
- Violence or physical endangerment towards the child;
- Emotional harm has detrimentally affected the child;
- Whether the child has requested it (the court may give weight to a child’s preference, but will first take into consideration the child’s age, emotional stability, maturity, and motives);
- Abduction, both potential and past;
- Substance abuse;
- Mental illness that disables a parent from properly caring for his or her child;
- Sexual deviancy or cohabitation that has a negative impact on the child’s well being; and
If you approach the courts with a request for supervised visitation, you must have substantial proof of what you are claiming; otherwise, the courts may begin to question your motives.
Consult with a Dallas, TX Child Custody Attorney
At the Law Offices of Udeshi Clark and Associates, our Dallas/Ft. Worth custody lawyer fights to protect the rights of our clients and their children. If you suspect that your child’s other parent is physically or emotionally abusing your child, you need to retain legal help right away. Our child custody lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to support your claims of abuse and to present them to the courts so that the judge may be inclined to order supervised or restricted visitation rights for the other parent. It is your child’s best interests at stake, so do not hesitate, and give our offices a call at (469) 914-5564 right away.