This is the next post in my series discussing the purpose of supervised visitation in Las Vegas child custody cases. My last post discussed rules that a parent must abide by during their scheduled supervised visitation. In this post I will be discussing steps a parent may take in order to prove to the Clark County Family Court that they are ready to visit with their children without supervision.
Parents must fully address the Clark County Family Court’s concerns prior to regaining unsupervised visitation
If a Family Court Judge has ordered that a parent’s visitation with their children be supervised it is because there is a specific issue of concern. In order for a parent to win unsupervised visitation – and possibly joint custody at some point – a parent must fully address the Court’s concerns. Common reasons why a parent may be ordered to supervised visitation may include use of drugs or alcohol, a history of child abuse or neglect, a history of domestic violence, or a pattern of poor judgement. Parents can also be required to have supervised visitation if they do not have a safe environment to visit with the children in – for example, if they are homeless or live in a weekly hotel. Finally, parents may also be mandated to supervised visitation if they knowingly brought unsafe persons around their children. Examples of this include a parent dating a known child molester or if the parent has allowed another person to bring drugs or firearms into the home where the children spend time. Whatever the issue may be the Court will require proof that the issue has been resolved.
In many cases the Department of Family Services will put together a case management plan for you and your family. The Clark County Family Court will review reports from your caseworker and other professionals to keep track of your progress and track if you are following the Judge’s requirements. The Court may require that the parent attend drug and alcohol counseling, anger management courses, therapy, seek psychiatric treatment, or other requirements. If the parent does not have a caseworker then they will be responsible for setting up the necessary services directly.
Time is the best indicator of change for most Las Vegas Family Court Judges
Unfortunately for parents, proving to a Court that one is responsible enough to look after children can be a long road. If a parent has a history of poor judgement or questionable behavior then a Las Vegas Judge will err on the side of caution prior to granting more liberal visitation or custody rights. A Judge will be most impressed with a parent who can demonstrate a pattern of stability over a long period of time. The Court will look for a consistent pattern of behavior in which the parent can maintain stable housing, a job, and a clean criminal record. The Court will also review supervised visitation reports and consider if the parent has taken advantage of every visitation session and acted appropriately. A Judge will likely require a parent to demonstrate a positive track record for at least six months prior to even considering a change in the status quo.
If you are a parent and are mandated to supervised visitation with your children, hope is not lost but you must work your plan. Contact our Las Vegas family law attorney today for more information.