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Does anyone have experience of supervised visitation being changed to unsupervised?

Posted by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM
  • 8 Replies

BM lost custody of SD quite a few years ago and was originally on a visitation plan that consisted of supervised visitation 3 x a week with the thought that this would step up to unsupervised, overnight and eventually weekend visitation.

Due to her actions, she eventually had this taken away from her also and now sees SD 2 x year for a period of 1 week (50 hours) supervised visitation with no overnights.  The Judge ruled that this was the final ruling.

Now her lawyer says she is filing to request unsupervised visitation and preferably overnight visitation.  It has been more than half of SD's life since she spend overnight with her mom.

BM says she has completed a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program but she still appears to be inebriated when speaking/skyping with SD.  She also has issues of self control and periods of highly inappropriate behavior and crazy outbursts around SD (it's almost as if she has no filter at all, if she thinks or feels it, it comes out, appropriate or not).

Does anyone have experience of moving from supervised to unsupervised AFTER a judge has previously taken away this option.  I understand that the whole point of supervised is to move to unsupervised but we have been down that road and it ended very badly and with a situation that was very dangerous for SD.  My DH is pro se (representing himself) and I would like as much information as we can possibly find on how likely it is that she will be granted unsupervised access. 

by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM
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Replies (1-8):
Polkadotted
by Gold Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

I don't know, We've kind of started unsupervised on our on  Well not really unsupervised, because DH insists that someone else is there like her boyfriend.  But they only see her once a year.

The CO had a plan to go to unsupervised and that wasn't taken away.  We probably could have when she lost her other child, but DH didn't.  There wasn't a point.  She still only gets supervised visits with that child.

TempestRayne
by Donna on Dec. 5, 2012 at 2:11 PM
I have no experience, sorry.
LyndaLoo78
by Skeletor on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Typically you are correct; the goal is to move from a supervised format to unsupervised and then finally overnight parenting time.  Again, typically, the judge lays out very clear criteria that must be met (and sometimes with a time frame) in order to request the modification from supervised to unsupervised parenting time.  Go back over your court documents; if necessary obtain transcripts of court appearances to be certain, and see what BM's criteria was to modify her supervised status.  It is beyond extremely rare for a parent to be held to supervised visits for life.  Typically, while the judge may state this is their "final" ruling on a matter, it can be revisited when/if the criteria has been met; and these types of matters when denied are bmost often denied without prejudice.  

 

Good luck.   

momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 6:03 PM
Yep I have. It was fairly simple for my ex to regain his access rights. The therapist felt it was better for dd to have unsupervised with her father because the year of therapy seemed to help them form a better relationship and although I still had concerns the therapist felt that dd would be fine. Which she has.

The step up went super fast - it took two months for him to have all access granted. I was shocked. Especially with how hard we fought to get supervision - 4 years in a court room, many therapists, several case workers, years of supervision, and then two months to unravel it all. It is scary but eventually I just got over the fear and I just watched carefully and quietly from the sidelines in case I need to intervene.

Even with all the crap that my dd deals with, she is much happier having unsupervised. She hated the supervision center. Felt like we were visiting a prison. And she adjusted fine to sleeping over in a new house. She had not been to this house at all and literally she did fine spending the night. I think we tend to be more anxious than the kids are.

Does she spend the night with friends or family? If she can do that then she should be fine to spend the night at her mom's. meaning mentally SHE will be ok to handle being away from home over night.
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momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 6:08 PM
This is 100% how it was in our case. We had a final ruling. He filed to modify the parent- child relationship and he then had to prove what he had done to change the final order that was placed.


Quoting LyndaLoo78:

Typically you are correct; the goal is to move from a supervised format to unsupervised and then finally overnight parenting time.  Again, typically, the judge lays out very clear criteria that must be met (and sometimes with a time frame) in order to request the modification from supervised to unsupervised parenting time.  Go back over your court documents; if necessary obtain transcripts of court appearances to be certain, and see what BM's criteria was to modify her supervised status.  It is beyond extremely rare for a parent to be held to supervised visits for life.  Typically, while the judge may state this is their "final" ruling on a matter, it can be revisited when/if the criteria has been met; and these types of matters when denied are bmost often denied without prejudice.  


 


Good luck.   


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libelule
by Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Thanks for your responses.  The only reason I am confused with all of this is that the original Divorce judgment stated that there would be steps to regain unsupervised, overnight  and then onto weekends, however, as a result of some seriously crazy behavior, the Judge then took all of this away and said absolutely no unsupervised. 

There is nothing in the supplemental judgment that states she has to complete any steps in order to regain this (as there was in the original judgment)  and in her verbal judgment, the Judge stated it was final, there would be no further modification.  This led us to believe that she would have supervised visitation indefinitely, although I know there is always room in family court for modifcation to judgments.

Visitation takes place at BMs house, it is supervised and she is not allowed to drive with SD or be alone at any time unsupervised with her.

I just don't know whether we should expect that she can get her visitation back to unsupervised after this final judgment.

BM has proven to be a serious danger to SD in the past even with a supervisor present (she was allowed to choose her own supervisor and chose her drug dealing boyfriend, BM was then involved in a drunken hit and run car accident with SD unrestrained in the car) , we are certain nothing has changed and it is very worrying to think that we may have to hand SD over unsupervised and wait until something terrible happens again for it to be taken away.  This is quite literally a child's safety on the line

Fingers crossed the Judge will take into account what is in the best interests of the child - to be honest I don't have a great deal of faith.

needsupport100
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:15 AM

if you are being contacted by bm's lawyer, i WOULD NOT grant this req, without a court order. IF bm is lying, and she puts the child at harm and it was because it was agreed to go against the co, from my experience, that could risk the custody of the child to dad.

imo, since she is contacting you from an attorney, imo it's time to saddle one up as well, as let the judge evaulate the situation and DON'T GIVE unsupervised visitation WITHOUT a co stating otherwise

libelule
by Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Thanks for your advice, DH responded to her attorney and said his answer is no.  The attorney then said that she will be asking the Judge for availability on the docket prior to SD's next visit (which is Dec 26, so not much time). 

Unfortunately we had to let the attorney go as attorney fees were up in the 100k range and DH just couldn't afford to continue with him.  BM has a free legal aid attorney so she was having fun filing all kinds of motions just to hit DH financially. 

I'm thinking we may have to bite the bullet and take the financial hit again.  It's not that we don't want SD to have a relationship with BM but she is seriously a danger and that's a risk we just can't afford to take.  We got lucky last time that SD wasnt seriously hurt, we may not be as lucky again.  From what we see on Skype and phonecalls, BM is still drinking and still getting loaded.  She also has frequent angry outbursts and talks about hugely inappropriate things in front of SD

Quoting needsupport100:

if you are being contacted by bm's lawyer, i WOULD NOT grant this req, without a court order. IF bm is lying, and she puts the child at harm and it was because it was agreed to go against the co, from my experience, that could risk the custody of the child to dad.

imo, since she is contacting you from an attorney, imo it's time to saddle one up as well, as let the judge evaulate the situation and DON'T GIVE unsupervised visitation WITHOUT a co stating otherwise


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