supervised visits

What Does Supervised Visitation Mean?

Alabama family courts while ruling on matters of child custody always make determinations based on the best interests of the child. In general, the courts don’t prefer to sever the parent-child relationship. The judge may order supervised visitation if a parent has been denied custody of the child, but wants to foster a relationship. You should talk to a child visitation attorney in Alabama to learn more about supervised visitation.

Typical Grounds for Supervised Visitation in Alabama

A parent can request supervised visitation if they believe the other parent may harm the child. The primary purpose of supervised visitation is to protect the parent-child relationship while preventing any harm from coming to the child.

As per Ala. Code § 30-3-135, supervised visitation needs to happen in the presence of a third party. This will be at a facility run by a state-sanctioned agency. With that said, Ala. Code § 30-3-135 (e) states that if the potential risk is minimal, the visit may be permitted under the watch of a trusted friend or family member.

These are a few factors that may be considered by the court when determining supervised visitation in Alabama:

  • History of neglect by a parent
  • If the parent has not particularly been a part of the child’s life, but wants visitation
  • History of emotional, sexual, and physical abuse by the parent on the child
  • History of emotional, sexual, and physical abuse by the parent on the other parent or someone else
  • History of mental illness or condition that may place the child’s safety at risk
  • History of substance abuse by the parent
  • Potential for kidnapping or abduction


Terms of Supervised Visitation

The court grants orders for supervised visitation after examining different factors. These orders can be highly restrictive in nature allowing the parent to meet with the child only in the presence of a court-appointed supervisor at a specified location.

Alternatively, the order may be lenient, allowing the parent to visit the child at their residence as long as an approved person supervises the visit. In some cases, the court may grant an order allowing the parent with primary custody to choose when and where the supervised visit should occur.

Length of Supervised Visitation

The length of the supervised visitation order will depend on factors the court determines are required for the safety of the child. It may be ordered for a set period of time or ordered to continue indefinitely. In case there is no definite end to supervised visitation, it can be presumed the order is to be imposed unless the court finds supervision to no longer be necessary.

The parent subject to supervised visitation can petition the court for allowing unsupervised visits if the factors that triggered the order are no longer present, or the parent has demonstrated successful rehabilitation of the concerning behavior.

The court generally modifies the order and allows unsupervised visitation if they find the circumstances warranting supervised visitation to no longer be necessary. The legal circumstances surrounding child visitation orders can be complex and difficult to navigate. It’s judicious to seek assistance from a qualified attorney.

Changing Supervised Visitation Orders

Existing visitation orders can get modified depending on the circumstances. A parent may request a modification for changing supervised visitation to unsupervised. The parent with primary custody can also request for changing unsupervised visitation to supervised visits if they believe the child is at potential risk of harm.

There may be a hearing before the judge to modify an existing child custody order. Several factors will need to be examined before the order is modified. A vital aspect of any modification is whether there has been a change in the concerning behavior and proper rehabilitation on part of the parent subject to supervised visitations.

The judge may also consider whether a parent has relocated outside of state borders. Another vital factor that may weigh the court’s decision is if either parent failed to abide by the current supervised visitation order. You may end up losing visitation altogether if you don’t follow the supervised visitation order.

The judge may find a non-abiding parent to be in contempt of the court and order the payment of fines. Or the judge may issue a protective order that bars the parent from communicating with a child. This is a significant order with far-reaching consequences and depends primarily on the behavior of the non-abiding parent.

All of these factors have an impact on whether the judge modifies the existing visitation order or not. Child visitation guidelines are historically used for facilitating an increase in the child-parent relationship while ensuring the child’s best interests are kept at the front and center. You should consider reaching out to a compassionate child visitation attorney if you believe you require assistance with the existing visitation situation.

Talk to a Skilled and Knowledgeable Child Visitation Attorney – Book Your Free Consultation Today

The experienced child visitation attorneys at the Alsobrook Law Group can guide you through legal proceedings and inform you of your rights. Our law firm has the necessary resources, skills, and legal knowledge to devise a winning strategy for you to achieve your goals. Schedule your free case review with our lawyers today. Call us at 334-360-9534 or contact us online.