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Supervised Visitation Arrangements Should Be Temporary


When courts determine how much parenting time to allot to each parent in a divorce, one of the factors they consider is whether the children are at risk of witnessing or becoming victims of domestic violence or any other kind of abuse in each parent’s house.  Even if, before or after you filed for divorce, you got a restraining order against your ex-spouse because of domestic violence, it does not completely take away your ex’s right to have a continuing, stable relationship with the children.  Termination of parental rights only takes place in extreme cases of child abuse.  Moving on from an abusive relationship is a challenge, but your children still have the right to have both parents be part of their lives.  If it is not safe for your ex to contact you directly, and if it is not safe for your ex to be alone with the children, supervised visits are a temporary solution until the situation becomes more stable.  A Palm Beach County child custody attorney can help you make short-term and long-term plans for a co-parenting arrangement that starts with supervised visitation.

A Temporary Parenting Plan with No Path to a Permanent One

David Solomon and Sofia Vasquez-Solomon got married in 2001 and had two children together.  In early 2016, Sofia filed for divorced and also filed for a temporary protective order, citing domestic violence.  The protective order prohibited David from having contact with Sofia or their children.  The court appointed Dr. Jerome Poliacoff to study the family’s situation and make recommendations for a temporary parenting plan.  Dr. Poliacoff recommended that David should have supervised visitation with the children, but that this arrangement should be temporary.  In July 2016, the protective order was extended for a year, and David was granted supervised parenting time.  The court also appointed Dr. Terilee Wunderman as guardian ad litem for the children.

When the divorce became final, the guardian ad litem recommended that unsupervised parenting time for David should be the next step for the family, but neither she nor the judge who issued the final judgment of divorce specified when the unsupervised visits should begin.  David appealed the judgment, since it did not make any provisions for the transition to unsupervised parenting time for him.  He cited Dr. Poliacoff’s recommendation that the family’s case should be reviewed every three months to see when David was ready for unsupervised parenting time.  The appeals court accepted David’s appeal and reversed the relevant part of the trial court’s judgment.  It remanded the case to the trial court so that the parties could develop a permanent parenting plan.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

A feasible permanent parenting plan should be part of every final judgment of divorce where the couple has minor children together.  Agreeing on a parenting plan with your ex-spouse can be a major challenge, but a family law attorney can help.  Contact the Boca Raton divorce attorneys at Schwartz | White for help.


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