This is the next post in a series of articles discussing supervised child visitation in Dayton, Ohio. The previous post provided an overview of the topics to be addressed throughout this series. It also stressed the importance of consulting an attorney as soon as possible if you feel that supervised visitation may be appropriate for your child. Courts will only order supervised visitation if specific conditions exist. In this article we will discuss the reasons for which a court may order supervised visitation in a case. If you need assistance, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
It is not uncommon for parents who share custody of a child to disagree on parenting styles or about the other parent’s lifestyle choices. One parent may even believe the other is a “bad parent.” It is important to understand, however, that differences in personal opinions about “good parenting” are not the same as the legal standards that apply when asking a court to restrict a parent’s access to their child. Ohio courts will require a party seeking supervised visitation to provide objective evidence that the child’s exposure to the other parent in an unsupervised environment somehow threatens the child’s physical or emotional well-being. Threats to the child’s well-being can take a variety of forms. If the other parent is under the influence or using illegal drugs or is engaging in criminal behavior in the presence of the child for instance, a court may require that visits be supervised. If there is evidence that the parent is physically or emotionally abusive to the child or others in the household, a court may grant supervised visitation. A court may also require supervision in extreme cases of neglect, such as a repeated failure to pick the child up from school or failure to provide food or adequate housing for the child.
For obvious reasons, if a child is in immediate danger, parents should contact the appropriate law enforcement agencies for assistance. In non-emergency situations, parents are encouraged to speak with an attorney as soon as possible prior to seeking supervised visitation to understand their legal options. Courts will not look favorably on a parent who frivolously requests a supervised visitation order when one may not be justified. It is also important to understand that simply withholding a child from the other parent in violation of an existing custody order may result in contempt of court charges or in the restriction of the withholding parent’s rights.
Protecting one’s child is a matter of utmost importance. In light of the potential ramifications of seeking supervised visitation, it is imperative to speak with an attorney to understand your legal rights. If you need assistance, contact our office today to speak with a Dayton child custody lawyer. We also serve the areas of Beavercreek, Centerville, Clayton, Eaton, Englewood, Fairborn, Franklin, Harrison Township, Huber Heights, Kettering, Oakwood, Lebanon, Miami Township, Miamisburg, Piqua, Riverside, Springboro, Springfield, Tipp City, Trotwood, Troy, Vandalia, Waynesville, Washington Township, West Carrollton, Yellow Springs, and Xenia.