When two parents are getting divorced and one parent is given sole custody of the children, the judge usually orders that the other parent gets supervised visitation rights. This means that the parent who is not given sole custody of the child can visit the child or children at periodic intervals of time depending on the agreement reached upon between the judge and the parents. The judge will also order professionals who are trained in child care and divorce situations to be present at the time of these visits to supervise or oversee the time of visit.
Supervised visitation is recommended when both parents cannot see eye to eye after the divorce or if one parent has certain mental issues, substance abuse issues or has been physically violent in the past. This is to ensure the safety of the other parent and the children during the visit.
If you are the visiting parent, here are some important do’s and don’ts during supervised visitation –
• Be on time and follow only the schedule set by the court and try not to cancel visits.
• Spend quality time with the children, show them your good side even if you’ve had a bad day. Be patient with the child, ask them questions about school and how their day went.
• Be nice to your ex-spouse and show a positive attitude towards them in front of your child.
• Bring toys, games, and books that your children might like. Make sure that the time that you spend with them is enjoyable.
• Never criticize the other custodial parent during your visits. Always maintain a friendly, neutral and positive attitude towards the other parent.
• Never bring up the divorce in front of your children.
• Never let the children feel that it is their fault that you and your spouse got divorced.
• Never make promises that you can’t keep.
Supervised visitation can work for all parties involved, but patience and kindness can go a long way toward making it work.