Being told that you're only allowed supervised visitation with your spouse can feel like a kick in the stomach. The implication is clear: You can't be trusted with the safety of your own children. You know the order is unfair and you're determined to fight back.
So, now what? How can you fight back? Here are some tips:
1. Make sure you know the allegations against you.
Some of the most common reasons for supervised visitation include allegations of:
- Physical abuse of the child
- Substance abuse (either drugs or alcohol)
- A history of child neglect
- Mental illness
If you've just received the order and it's temporary, recognize that the court will usually err on the side of caution and order supervised visitation pending a full hearing. It's often possible to show that the allegations are either unfounded or inflated.
2. Do not try to violate the order and keep you visits.
As unpleasant and embarrassing as it may be to submit to supervised visitation, you need to take the approach that “any visit is better than no visit.” Attending your supervised visitation shows that your children are important to you and can impress the court with your sincerity.
By the same token, don't disobey the court's current visitation order by picking your child up from school or doing anything else that would be considered “unsupervised.”
3. Do not get verbally or physically aggressive with the supervisor.
You may be required to use a court-appointed “supervisor” for your visits. Keep in mind that everything you say or do can — and will probably be — reported back to the judge in your case. Be on your best behavior at all times and treat the supervisor with respect.
As frustrating as this time is, you can get through it and move on. If you've been limited to supervised visitation, find out what you can do to protect your rights and preserve your relationship with your children.