You've been granted supervised visitation with your child. You likely have a lot of questions about what that means, how it will work and what is expected of you. You may feel resentful that the only way you can see your child is if a social worker, counselor or adult family member is present. You may be required to go to a designated facility like a child care center. Sometimes, the child is allowed to come to the parent's home with the supervising adult.
Judges don't make this decision lightly. They want kids to be able to have a relationship with both parents. However, if there's a history of alcohol or drug abuse, violence, neglect or other issues that could threaten a child's health and safety, this is the only option if the parent wants to build (or rebuild) the parent-child bond. Supervised visitation allows kids to see parents whose fitness is in question in a safe, structured environment.
Supervised visitation may be ordered if there are allegations of violence even if they haven't yet been substantiated. When a parent has a substance abuse issue, supervised visitation will generally be required until he or she has completed a recovery program.
Court orders requiring supervised visitation usually remain in place unless and until a parent demonstrates that circumstances have changed and that he or she can be trusted to care for a child alone. Parents need to request a modification of the order if they believe that is the case and provide evidence to back up their request to end the supervision.
If your co-parent has made a request that you have only supervised visitation or if that mandate has already been handed down, your North Carolina family law attorney can explain how best to deal with it. If there's a police or social services investigation, it's best to cooperate with that.
In the meantime, make the most of the time you're allowed with your child, even if the circumstances are less than ideal. The person supervising those visits will take note of how you and your child interact. Your relationship may be strained if you've damaged your child's trust. Be patient, and don't make your problems your child's. Work to strengthen the parent-child bond as you go through this phase of parenthood.
Source: Verywell Family, "How Supervised Visitation Works," Jennifer Wolf, accessed May 16, 2018