Why Can’t I See My Children By Myself?
Although the situation is relatively rare, there are divorce cases in which one parent ends up with supervised parenting time or timesharing, which means that the parent cannot see the children without a chaperone or other third party present. There are a variety of reasons as to why a court might limit a parent’s access to the child in this manner, but the underlying purposes of supervision always are to both protect the child and maintain the parent-child relationships.
Reasons for Supervised Timesharing
The vast majority of cases do not require supervised timesharing, but a court can order it in a particular case as a short-term measure on a temporary basis or as a permanent safety precaution, subject to review in the future. Some common reasons for supervised timesharing are as follows:
- Emotional or mental health issues that make you unstable or unable to care for a child
- Potential for a parent to kidnap the child or remove him or her from the country
- Past physical abuse or domestic violence perpetrated by the parent
- Substance abuse or addiction issues, such as alcohol or drug usage
Supervised Timesharing: The Logistics
In most cases, the parties will agree on a person to supervise the parent’s time with the child, such as a grandparent or other family member. In other situations, the court may select a counselor, therapist, or other mental health professional to act as parenting time supervisor.
Supervised timesharing can happen in a number of different locations. Public places such as parks, restaurants, or playgrounds often are good places for this type of timesharing. A close relative’s home also may be appropriate, or the parent’s home also might work, so long as the supervisor is present.
When parents live some distance apart, technology now allows for different ways of remotely-supervised timesharing. For instance, placing a telephone call on speaker can enable someone to supervise the conversation between parent and child. Skype or Facetime between parent and child also is easily monitored by the other parent or another designated supervisor.
Changing Supervised Timesharing
If a Florida judge places any type of restrictions on a parent’s ability to spend time with his or her child, Florida law requires that the court order also must contain the specific steps necessary for the supervised parent to take in order to eventually exercise timesharing with the child on an unsupervised basis. In other words, the court has to give the supervised parent a concrete way to reestablish regular unsupervised timesharing in the future.
Call Your Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer for Help
Potential restrictions on timesharing are only one of the many difficult issues that you may face as you go through your divorce. Keep in mind, however, that you should not and do not have to go through divorce proceedings on your own. This is where we can be of assistance by helping you explore your options and make decisions that are right for you. Contact Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, right away, and learn how we can assist you throughout the divorce process.