During mediation, I asked for agency supervised visitation for the other parent. The other parent has been absent for 10 months my child has special needs. The mediator agreed with this recommendation, but the other parent claims they do not have the money to pay for my child's therapist to supervise the visits like I requested. The mediator said she would not require the I supervise the visits, but is unsure that the judge will order for this specific therapist to supervise the visits if the other parent claims she can not afford it. If that happens, what might the judge order instead? It was very clear to the mediator that supervised visits are necessary, and she agreed that the therapist would be best suited since she knows my child and has a background with special needs children.
Administrative Law Lawyer
My recommendation is that if there is a need for supervised visitation and the other parent is claiming that they are unable to pay for such services, then you should consider making arrangements to share this cost. The majority should arguably be borne by the non-custodial parent however as your goal is to have your child have a relationship with the other parent, 50 payment may be reasonable.
If you are self-represented at this time, I suggest you have a consult appointment with an experienced family law attorney who may be able to advise you on this issue only.
This is not a substitute for a consultation with a family law attorney in your community.
Child Custody Lawyer
The judge has discretion to order the supervision doesn't have to be with a therapist and could be supervcised by member(s) of his family. That is a common order. You should seek an experienced local family law attorney.
Thomas Neil is a Sacramento attorney, with 20 years experience, representing clients in court in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and surrounding counties. Or, if you cannot afford full representation then Mr. Neil can instead write you the forms and declaration you need, help you serve them, and tell you what to say and you can go to court by yourself. A well written declaration by an attorney, supported by proper evidence, will GREATLY increase your chances of success in court. Our office takes credit cards.
Thomas A Neil
3224 El Camino Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95821
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
You should consult with a family lawyer as soon as possible to get this issue resolved. The judge could order that you split the costs of the therapist, or what may happen is the judge will look to a family member to supervise the visitation so that there will be no cost. It's important for the supervisor to understand that the child has special needs if that impacts visitation. Quite often, parties or other family members will be the supervisors in situations like this one. Is it possible for the judge to disallow the supervised visitation? Yes, of course, depending on your situation, so you would be well-advised to seek legal counsel by a family lawyer to discuss your options. Supervised visitation is often a tough subject because a suitable supervisor cannot be found or agreed-upon. You want to make sure to get supervised visitation in place, from your fact pattern, so it will be best to discuss all of the facts with a good family lawyer. Best of luck!
Tina Tran, Esq. is licensed to practice law in the State of California. Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship with Tina Tran, Esq. To schedule a consultation, please call (925) 357-0431. www.tinatranlaw.com Thank you.