New York State Supervised Visitation Laws

By Jim Thomas

Supervised visits in New York are ordered by a county Family Court or Supreme Court when a visit with a non-custodial parent -- the parent who doesn't have custody -- could be physically or psychologically dangerous for the child. The number of requests for supervised visits has risen greatly in recent years, as more and more cases of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect flood the court system. If you worry that your child is at risk during visits with his non-custodial parent, you can petition the court for an order of custody and visitation. The court has the authority to order supervised visitation if it approves the petition.

The Objective

In many cases when supervised visitation is ordered, a child has been in an environment involving domestic violence. In other cases, the non-custodial parent has physically, sexually or emotionally abused the child. The kids in these situations require a safe place to visit with the parent. According to research published by the "Family Court Review," a child's future well-being is significantly improved when he has an ongoing relationship with his non-custodial parent.

Supervised Visits

Some non-custodial parents have a history of addiction, violence or abuse. At a supervised visit, the non-custodial parent meets with the child under the supervision of a trained staff member or therapist. During a one-on-one visitation, the supervisor is present throughout the entire visit, observing and listening to the interaction and ensuring the child is safe. Sometimes, supervised visits are designed to directly deal with issues between the parent and child, and visit supervisors actively work to treat and improve the relationship.

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Obtaining a Custody and Visitation Order

If you fear for the safety of your child when he interacts with his parent, or you know he is or has been abused physically or psychologically by his parent, you can petition the court for a custody or visitation order which includes the request for supervised visits. The Family Court in the county where you live has designated clerks to assist you with filling out the form and filing it.

Grounds for Supervised Visits

Since non-custodial parents generally have a right to visit with their kids, you must convince a Family Court judge that limitations, such as supervised visits or no visitation rights at all, are necessary. The court will consider a number of factors when determining whether to grant your petition. Such factors include evidence of violence or threats of violence against the child, emotional harm, a child's request to limit or deny visits, a non-custodial parent's mental illness or substance abuse, the emotional damage caused by visiting a parent in jail or a parent's threats to abduct the child.

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How to Apply for Visitation Rights

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Child Visitation Laws in Kentucky

Any parent who does not have custody of a minor child is entitled to visitation with the child, according to Kentucky law. However, a judge will limit or deny visitation if the court finds that visitation is not in the best interests of the child. For instance, a parent who is accused of abusing alcohol in the presence of the child could lose his visitation rights. Kentucky also gives grandparents the option to petition the court for visitation rights, which is not possible in every state.

How to Get Child Custody If a Parent Refuses to Sign the Papers

Because child custody disputes can be contentious and stressful, family courts encourage parents to settle their disputes on their own. This not only shields the child from the stress of a custody fight, but it also allows the parents the autonomy to work out a custody plan that works with both parents' schedules and the child's needs. When one parent refuses to sign a proposed parenting plan or settle a custody dispute, however, you will need to use the court system to resolve your custody issues.

Kentucky State Child Custody Guidelines

For divorcing couples with minor children, determining custody can be a major source of conflict. In Kentucky, state law places the interests of the child above the wishes of the parents, and a court must consider several factors in crafting all custody orders. Once in place, a parent can petition the court for a modification of the custody order in limited circumstances.

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