Supervised Visitation in New Jersey
Divorces involving children come with many tough decisions and uncomfortable realities — not the least of which is supervised visitation. It may seem complicated and intimidating but going into it with the right information makes it better for everyone involved.
The New Jersey courts website summarizes supervised visitation in New Jersey as an opportunity for non-custodial parents to build relationships with their children in a safe, neutral environment. This might be the best option for parents struggling with mental health, substance abuse, disability, or other risk factors in many cases.
How Does Supervised Visitation Work in New Jersey?
The process starts with a court referral to the visitation program after other supervision agreements have proven to be ineffective or detrimental to the child.
After referral, the parents and lawyers involved work with the court on a court order. The order outlines the length of individual visits, the supervised child visitation program’s duration, and a review date. The review date is given so the courts can re-assess the situation.
The county coordinator of the program then conducts pre-screening interviews. This helps the court establish if the case is fit for the program, gather information on the parties involved and, in some cases, create a preliminary visitation schedule. During this process, all parties receive copies of the visitation rules established by the court.
New Jersey child visitation guidelines are generally established on a case-by-case basis. They emphasize the mental and physical wellbeing of the child. For more information, refer to the official New Jersey supervised visitation program annual report.
New Jersey Parenting Time Guidelines
Time guidelines are sometimes the most important and most disputed aspects of supervised visitation. Like other rules, supervised visitation time guidelines emphasize the child’s wellbeing.
For younger children in school, parenting time guidelines should consider social clubs, sports events, and other extra-curricular activities.
With teenagers, parents should work with them on time guidelines to keep their developmental needs in mind. Adjustments to time guidelines may be made as the child’s needs change.
Refer to the New Jersey court’s parenting time guidelines pamphlet for more information and what constitutes a violation of these guidelines.
The Visitation Itself
After all of the parties have received and agreed to visitation rules, visitation begins. The time and location are decided upon beforehand as convenient to the families and neutral.
During visitation, a court employee, county coordinator or trained volunteer or intern acts as an observer. They may end the session if rules are broken or the visit is stressful or potentially damaging to the child’s wellbeing.
Dalena & Bosch: Lawyers for New Jersey Families
As experts in New Jersey family law, the law firm of Dalena & Bosch in Madison, New Jersey, can help you navigate the difficult field of supervised visitation. Whether you need help establishing guidelines, securing supervised child visitation or contesting violated guidelines, contact our family law firm in New Jersey for assistance today.
For more information regarding visitation rights take a look at two of our articles.