Boston Supervised Visitation Lawyer
Parents who have concerns about their children being in the care of the other parent often request that contact between the parent and child be supervised. Applying the "best interest of the child" standard, a court will attempt to balance the child's best interest while, at the same time, allowing the noncustodial parent to further his or her parental relationship with the child.
Supervised visitation is generally ordered in only the rarest of cases – when one parent has a long history of drug or alcohol abuse, physical or emotional abuse toward the child(ren) or other family members, or in any other situation found to be in the child's best interest.
There are some reasons for supervised parenting time that should never draw the conclusion that the supervised parent has done anything wrong. For example, when an estranged parent has been absent from a young child's life and is now just being reintroduced, it may be in the child's best interest to have another party present in the early stages of reunification. In other cases, a parent may have a medical condition which would make it dangerous for the child to be alone with him or her just in case something was to go wrong.
In Massachusetts, supervision of visits is most often accomplished through an agreed-to third party supervisor, a paid supervisor, or at a supervised visitation center. While the financial responsibility may be that of the supervised parent, the court will typically view both parties' financial statement to assess the financial condition of each party.
In those cases where the parent's conduct is said to be poor, the goal is for supervision to be done for a very short period of time. In most cases, it's for a limited time period in order to permit the supervised parent time to complete court-ordered therapy or anger management classes. In time, the non-custodial parent's parenting time is best served in less restrictive environments, and once they demonstrate improvement their parenting time is often expanded or made unsupervised.
Be Prepared for Non-Stop Litigation In Contentious Cases When Supervised Visitation Is Ordered By the Court
If allegations are made about one parent's improper or unsafe conduct, the toxic relationship between the parents will often be such that both parents will constantly be trying to get the upper hand or punish each other. You are well advised to have back-up supervisors on call if last minute cancellations occur, and have witnesses at exchange points if possible.
You can also expect that non-custodial parents may be reluctant to pay child support and will use every tactic to stall and harass you if you are the primary parent receiving support each week. Some will demand excessive documentation and detailing of how you spend child support. Get in the habit of keeping receipts, but remember the presumption is that you are spending support money properly and your former spouse has no right to say how said money is spent; those "control" days are over!
False Allegations of Child Abuse
There is nothing more frightening in a highly-contested custody dispute than for a parent to claim child abuse against the other parent. The parent against whom this allegation is made will often be up against a brick wall. Because courts err on the side of protecting children from alleged perpetrators, that parent who is falsely accused may end-up with supervised visitation. In some cases, the fight is never-ending.
Our Supervised Visitation attorneys defend clients against false allegations. We know how to conduct interviews, how false allegations are made, and how memories can be tainted. This type of research skill must be understood by your attorney if your spouse is making false allegations about you.
False allegations and other forms of threats can be so extreme that some rise to a level of parental alienation – causing children to be caught in the middle of an ugly divorce.
When it Comes to Custody and Supervised Visitation, Referrals Tell the Story of Our Success
Massachusetts Family Law Group is a team of experienced and aggressive attorneys who provide litigate throughout Eastern Massachusetts - in the Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk County Probate and Family Courts.
We get the upper-hand in cases by focusing on crucial pieces of evidence: diaries, writings, photographs, videos, tape recordings, and investigative reports. Our state-wide brain trust of attorneys, experts, and staff work around-the-clock, and you can be assured that your case is being monitored from beginning to end, with critical landmarks noted and addressed at all times.
We receive many referrals from other lawyers and satisfied clients, including opposing attorneys from former cases - a strong indication of our firm's success. To learn more about how we can help you, call (800) 763-1030 or e-mail us for a FREE, no-obligation consultation at any of our local offices .