Gavel and bibleThis is the next post in my series on Virginia Beach family law cases involving supervised child visitation. My last article served as an overview of topics which this series will address and stressed the need to speak with an attorney if you find yourself facing such a situation. It is important to contact counsel sooner, rather than later, in such instances as a Court’s main concern will always be the best interests of the children. In this article I will discuss the types of situations in which a Judge will Order supervision. If you need assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

A parent will not be subjected to supervised visitation simply because their counterpart wishes it. Obtaining an Order for supervision will require the requesting parent to show that it is not in the child’s best interests to have unsupervised time with the visiting parent. In some circumstances the need for supervision is obvious. These include instances in which a parent has been found to have physically abused the child, has engaged in repeated acts of violence against others, or has engaged in some other type of improper conduct which is highly detrimental to a youth. Another circumstance which may require supervision is if the visiting parent has spent little to no time with the child for a period of years. Examples of this could include a parent who has been absent for some time or who has just been released from incarceration. These are some of the more “obvious” cases for requesting supervision.

There are other instances in which the Court may not be as quick to order supervision. These include instances in which a parent has been arrested for a D.U.I., for some type of drug offense, or some other minor infraction. If a parent is arrested for drunk driving but has an otherwise clean history then the Court may be more willing to find that it was a one-time incident. If, however, a parent has shown a repeated pattern of alcoholism then a Judge is far more likely to require that visits be supervised. In matters involving drugs, how a Court rules will depend on the extent to which the offending parent has shown a pattern of poor conduct and the nature of the substances involved.

It is important to understand that no two cases are alike and how the Court will rule on a request for supervision is always going to be situation specific. In addition to the inappropriate conduct being alleged, a Court will also consider the history of the case, any prior trouble a parent may have been in, as well as a number of other surrounding circumstances. In other words, how a Judge rules in one instance may be different than how they will rule in another instance. This is why it is best to speak with a child custody attorney in order to get a better understanding of your situation.

Contact my office today to speak with a Virginia Beach lawyer. We also service Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, as well as the surrounding counties of Northampton, Isle of Wight, York, and James City.