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supervised visitation?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Anyone done it? Who supervised, where did it happen, for how long, etc.
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 
No one has been there? A judge said mom can only see her children while supervised, but she wants her boyfriend to do the supervision, or me (stepmom), and I just wonder how other people have worked it out.
post #3 of 27
I know one person who has had to do this. She asked a neutral third party (a colleague from work) to take her infant son to the visitations. That worked out fine, but biodad was a serious loser who only asked for visitation times when his mother demanded it as a condition of bailing him out. For a more sustained situation, I'd rather hire somebody to do it.

Definitely NOT the boyfriend. You are a better choice, since you can trust yourself not to let anything bad happen, but a neutral party is always best.
post #4 of 27
I have no experience with this whatsoever, but something tells me that having a neutral party do the supervision is probably a good idea. I do know that some counties/states have facilities for this if the supervision is court-ordered.
post #5 of 27
As neutral as possible. If Mom isn't content to be supervised forever, then when she asks the court to lift S/V in the future, the supervisor will (I assume?) have to report to the court on her parenting skills. If she has a good enough relationship with you to be comfortable with you supervising her, wouldn't that put you in a potentially awkward position? (I.e., What if she wants S/V lifted but your honest opinion is that it should remain in place?) And obviously Boyfriend would be biased!

But as far as hiring someone, keep in mind that when a non-custodial parent is already struggling to keep up with child support, attorney's fees, custodial evaluator fees or whatever else the divorce/custody battle has created, adding a supervisory fee can easily turn parenthood into a pay-per-view scenario they can't afford, which is completely unfair, regardless what the non-custodial parent has done. Their child should never be made to feel that mom or dad "stood them up" for visitation when the truth is he/she simply couldn't come up with the "entrance fee". (That scenario is the reason some super-manipulative custodial parents campaign for S/V when it isn't warranted. They anticipate there will be times when their ex can't afford to come.)
post #6 of 27
DSD's mom had to have supervised visits when they first came to live with us. It was court ordered and the court provided the name of the service she was to use. It was also written that we could allow someone else to if we agreed to the person. Ex wife would not have been able to afford to see the girls so she originally asked if boyfriends mom could do it (boyfriend has warrant for arrest for drugs/ex wife lost kids because of drug use). We agreed to allow Ex-wife's mom to supervise. We did not have to have any evaluation. The terms say that mom has to have supervised visits until she completes rehab. At anytime we can require a drug test if we suspect anything even after rehab. She has not done rehab so she still has supervised visits. We sometimes let her take the kids alone if we drop them off and are within 5 minutes of her location. She may not drive with them.
post #7 of 27
My Childs father's mom, sister, and or dad supervised visits as it was court ordered. I my own opinion I do not think this works when a family member does it because they are usually not neutral. It is better to have a judge order a third party to supervise.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
I have no experience with this whatsoever, but something tells me that having a neutral party do the supervision is probably a good idea. I do know that some counties/states have facilities for this if the supervision is court-ordered.
Yes I agree but this costs a lot of money
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. She also has to have SV until rehab is complete and I don't know what else. She was convicted of child endangerment of her other children (not my stepson) so I don't know all the details of what the judge ordered. As far as I know, he just said she can't be unsupervised with the children, but did not specify who should supervise. She asked me, but I have a few problems with the idea. One, I don't want her in my house. She is a drug addict and I don't trust her not to steal things. I was willing to go to her house, but my dh pointed out that many of these recent problems have to do with her boyfriends who are drug addicts/dealers, so he does not want me hanging out at her house. I would be willing to do an hour or two a week in a public place, like a park, library or McDonalds, but I would prefer an outside person do it. Unfortunatly, there is the cost. She doesn't pay CS, or attorney's fees or any custodial evalutors, but since she is on SSI, she probably can't be made to pay anything. I'm kinda running out of ideas. Her ideas so far have been her boyfriend (who dss refuses to be in the same room with, so not sure how that would work. . ) or me. I am also waiting to see who will supervise in the case of her other children, and maybe dss can join them.
post #10 of 27
And, sorry, this is probably obvious from the fact that you haven't mentioned it as an option, but are there no state supervision services for cases like this? I actually have a fair bit of experience with a family member who had limited supervised visits with her children and a variety of different formats were tried. The hard thing about a friend of family member providing the "supervision" is the implicit hierarchy that is then created. This means that as the supervisor you would be responsible to step in if there was anything untoward or innapropriate, and that can be a pretty difficult thing to assess in terms of another person's parenting. No social workers/support workers etc are involved? Or a social service agency/rehab where the mom might have connections or professional support?
post #11 of 27
The rehab program might also have a program or knowledge of a program that does SV. I know there is a rehab program here that does. You could ask your step-son's school if they know of anything.. the school social worker, guidance counselor, or school psychologist might. You could also call the department of social services (or whatever it is called where you are... whatever agency is in charge of foster care), as they might have information about SV programs.

If your step-son's insurance will pay for therapy, you could see if there is a counselor who would be willing to be part of the SV picture? (Just trying to think outside the box).

My sense is that if you try a couple of social service agencies, they might at least be able to point you in the right direction. They are generally fairly good with referrals.
post #12 of 27
"I am also waiting to see who will supervise in the case of her other children, and maybe dss can join them."

This would also have the advantage of bringing your dss into regular contact with his siblings.

Ultimately, though, I'm not sure that it's fair for you to own this problem. IIRC, your dss is old enough to understand explanations like "your mom loves you, but she's made some really terrible choices that have created legal obstacles to her being alone with you right now. Your dad and I really hope that she can fix the problems in her life so that you can visit her again soon."
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
We have set it up so that his other siblings come visit at our house on Saturdays. Their dad likes it better that way, and dss said he prefers it to going with his mom. I really haven't heard of any agency who supervises. Everyone I know has had a family member. Someone said you can hire a police officer, but I don't know the process of that. The other father goes back to court tomorrow so we will see what happens. Right now there is a restraining order (with the other children) in place and we'll see how long that last.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Phoebe View Post
And, sorry, this is probably obvious from the fact that you haven't mentioned it as an option, but are there no state supervision services for cases like this? I actually have a fair bit of experience with a family member who had limited supervised visits with her children and a variety of different formats were tried. The hard thing about a friend of family member providing the "supervision" is the implicit hierarchy that is then created. This means that as the supervisor you would be responsible to step in if there was anything untoward or innapropriate, and that can be a pretty difficult thing to assess in terms of another person's parenting. No social workers/support workers etc are involved? Or a social service agency/rehab where the mom might have connections or professional support?
You are right. It would be weird to "step in" but the strange thing is, I think they would both listen to me if I said, "Time to go" or something. I guess my concern is someone unknown to me showing up.
post #15 of 27
If you are comfortable doing it and your step-son feels good about you being there, maybe you could supervise a couple short visits (like you said, at McDonald's or something) while you try to figure out soemthing more permanent.

If you are mostly concerned about someone you don't know showing up, you could set the ground rule that it is just step-son and mom (unless you know about someone ahead of time, like a grandparent or something that you are okay with), and you could make sure it is a very public place. If something doesn't seem right to you, you can say "time to go"... my sense from your posts is that your step-son would be totally fine with you stepping in and taking him out of the situation if somethign is "off." You and he and dad could talk about it ahead of time that if you say "time to go," you mean right that moment and make the same thing clear to mom.

That way your step-son could maintain a little contact, even just a couple short visits, while you are trying to figure out who else could do it.
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yes, aricha, you are right. We might give it a try. He doesn't want to see her, yet, so she agreed to wait until he is ready. Gives us a little time to work out the details.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
adding a supervisory fee can easily turn parenthood into a pay-per-view scenario they can't afford, which is completely unfair, regardless what the non-custodial parent has done.
Regardless?

Clearly you have not been in this position.
post #18 of 27
I'm a visitation supervisor. I work for an agency that contracts with the state. It does cost a lot of money, especially for people who see their kids for many hours per visit. I write reports to the court about my observations. The visits take place in the parent's home. The custodial parent is responsible for transporting them to and from the visits.

The judge can order a supervisor or can allow family and friends to supervise. Neutral parties are best when supervising, but attorneys will still nit pick what is contained within the reports no matter who writes them.
post #19 of 27
Sounds like you've made the arrangement that bets suits your child's needs at this time! Good on you!

(And honestly, isn't he coming into the age where he might be developing the a healthy, normal desire to avoid contact with a very messed-up person? I don't know what the legal obstacles are, but psychologically I'm not sure if it's a problem if he's starting to disentangle himself from him mom.)
post #20 of 27
Sorry, I wasn't clear: Obviously, a parent may have done something that makes supervised visits absolutely necessary! My only point was that, if SV is ordered, it should be arranged such that each visit is not in jeopardy of cancellation, because the non-custodial parent is scrambling to come up with the money to pay the supervisory service, or having to choose between paying support and paying to see the child. And that happens.

My case is not at all the same as Flor's, but yes, we've had some experience with SV. My husband (who now has sole custody of his child) has an ex who was determined to marginalize him, in their son's life. One of her many methods was to repeatedly seek any excuse to request SV. (To give you a taste, once she requested it based solely on my [now] husband and I starting to date. Our sons were already friends, so sometimes we did things together with the kids. Mom complained that my [now] step-son knew and had a good relationship with me before the dating, for his dad to "pursue" me was a "malicious attempt to sabotage their son's support network" and that, "Visitation is for parent and child to have contact with each other, not for them to engage in social gaiety together." !?!?)

Only once did the court actually order SV for my husband (temporarily, until Mom's latest "abuse" allegation was investigated and thrown out), but that allegation and the SV conveniently fell during a period when he was between jobs, had huge lawyer/court-ordered mediator/C-O psychologist bills from the custody battle, and was trying to keep up with hefty C/S payments that were based on his previous income. And then, suddenly, seeing his child cost $100/hour! And if he didn't have it, Mom's story line was that he "didn't care about visitation".

Thankfully, not every custodial parent in an SV scenario is like my husband's ex. But even when SV is needed, no one should be cavalier in saying, "Just hire someone to do it." Care must be taken so that supervision is workable. If "the powers that be" have determined it is still in the child's best interest to have a relationship with that parent, then the child should never be denied a visit just because that parent can't afford to pay the supervisor, that week. That's all I meant.
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