When family courts enter custody and visitation orders, they do so based on what is in the best interest of the children. This is an open concept that can encompass many different considerations. Sometimes, courts end up hearing evidence that concerns them to the extent that they limit a parent’s custody or visitation. This may include evidence of domestic violence, a criminal activity, substance abuse, child neglect, emotional abuse of a child, or physical abuse of a child.
In other words, if the court feels that a parent poses some physical or emotional risk to the child or the other parent, then a court will make decisions it feels necessary to protect them. However, it must also balance the underlying public policy that children should spent time with both parents. Therefore, a court may order supervised visitation. Supervised visitation may include supervision by another court-approved adult or may even be conducted by a third-party service provider.
Safe Custody Exchanges
Service providers like Time Together Center in the Triangle area provide a neutral place for parents to exchange their children. They are considered “safe” because they provide a secure facility where one parent can drop off a child and leave without having to interact with the other parent. This is particularly beneficial to situations in which parents do not get along, in which there has been a history of domestic violence between the parties, or in which there are court orders in place prohibiting contact between the parents. The other parent can then show up at a pre-determined time to visit with the child. Everyone can agree that conflict in front of a child is unhealthy, so a safe exchange of custody can help alleviate this possibility while allowing the non-custodial parent access to his or her child.
Safe custody exchange providers also provide supervision of visitation by a professional. A parent who is granted supervised visitation may feel like they have experienced a deprivation of their rights; however, it is in that parent’s interest to treat it as an opportunity to prove to the child and to the court that they can be a healthy, appropriate parent. Be mindful that the person or people supervising the visitation can then provide important feedback to the court.
New Direction Family Law
If you are seeking assistance with a child custody issue, contact New Direction Family Law. We represent both fathers and mothers who seek custody agreements, original custody orders, or modification of existing orders. Kids need their parents. We appreciate this and have years of experience in helping clients reach resolutions to their custody disputes. We provide representation in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Contact New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment or reach us online.