When Can the Court Restrict a Parent's Visitation Rights?

Supervised visitation is allowed by the court when parents want a divorce due to irreconcilable differences and only one parent gets sole custody of the child. visitation rightsThe court decides which parent gets sole custody of the child and which parent gets visitation/supervised visitation rights based on both parents’ financial status, personal history, and background and the happiness and welfare of the child.

However, a court can restrict the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights on the following grounds –



  • If the non-residential or non-custodial parent has a history of physical abuse or violence with the spouse or in general. If the parent abuses or threatens the child in any way including the other parent in front of the child even with the court-appointed supervisor present, his visitation rights can be restricted or canceled. The court looks into the safety and well-being of the child first and the child’s safety is given first priority in such cases. Emotional and mental abuse inflicted onto the child in any way such as making the child cry, wet his pants, making him nervous, anxious or scared is also grounds for restriction of visitation rights.
  • The court can also restrict the parent’s visitation rights based on the wishes and preferences of the child. For example, in the state of California if the child is 14 years and above he or she can decide the parents’ visitation rights and denial or restriction of such rights if required. The minimum age of the child differs from country to country and state to state. If the child can understand what kind of decision is being made and wants a role in the decision making the judge will certainly allow it.
  • Other grounds for visitation restriction include drug and alcohol abuse by the visiting parent, instances of the parent exhibiting any kind of sexual or unusual/abnormal behavior with the child, past felonies, criminal records, non-adherence to visitation rules, incarceration, abduction of the child, etc.