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Why would a court order supervised visitation?

Sometimes parents are faced with a tough choice -- they don't want to cut off their children's contact with their non-custodial father or mother. However, they also don't think that the parent should be left alone with the kids.

That's when asking the court to impose supervised visitation can help. However, you can't just ask the court to limit the other parent's time with the kids without a good reason.

What could cause the court to agree that supervised visitation is in order?

The court has to evaluate the entire situation to determine whether or not supervised visitation is warranted. Keep in mind that the court looks closely at how the other parent interacts with your children and not you. However, there are some areas where the two issues may overlap.

There are several things that the court is likely to examine:

-- Have the children ever been physically abused by their other parent? Documented abuse is something that would heavily encourage the court to restrict the other parent's access to the kids.

-- Have the children witnessed you being physically abused by their other parent? If so, that's another strong indicator that your children's other parent may have issues with self-control or anger. Both of these could prove to be unsafe for the children in a unsupervised setting.

-- Has the other parent ever neglected the children? Ongoing failure (as opposed to a one-time event) to make sure that the kids are clean, fed and at school on time could also be a good reason for the court to grant restricted visitation. School records and statements from teachers or principals can help establish this sort of problem behavior on the part of the other parent.

-- Are the children economically abused by their other parent? There are some parents who won't hesitate to take advantage of a teenager with a job. If the other parent has hit your teenagers up for "loans" ever since the kids got their first jobs, that's economic abuse. Parents are supposed to financially support their children-- not the other way around.

-- Is the other parent emotionally abusive? Emotional abuse, intimidation, name calling and manipulation may be harder to prove, but the testimony of your children's psychologist can often help establish the problem to the satisfaction of the court.

For more information on family law issues, contact an attorney today.

Source: Nebraska Mediation Association, "Nebraska Parenting Act 43-2921," accessed May 09, 2017

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