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What will happen if judge does not order agency supervised visitation?

Folsom, CA |

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.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for the advice. I understand why it might be necessary for me to help with the costs, but I am a stay at home father and since my ex does not pay any child support, the burden of this cost would fall on my wife who is already the main financial support for my child. I have an attorney who wrote in the points of authority and attorney input letter that the cost of reunification should fall solely on the other parent since her abandonment over the past year is her fault alone, so it is reasonable for her to pay for everything to fix what is broken. However, I know she will refuse to anything that will require her to pay money, even though she pays no child support now, so I just want to prepare myself for what the judge might suggest during the hearing.

Posted

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
(916) 446-4153

Asker

Posted

The reason I am pushing for agency supervised visitation is because of the special needs my child has. A lot of members of our family do not know how to handle him when he "acts up", so I feel it would be in his best interests to have a certified supervisor that is aware of his special needs to be incharge of these visits. The mediator seemed to agree because she took down a lot of information from me to contact to people I had in mind to supervise the visits, and she said she is planning on contacting them to learn more about my child's condition prior to writing her recommendation to the court. However, I know the other parent will refuse to pay for anything, but I do not know who else could supervise these visits.

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your response. I do have an attorney but it costs too much to ask these type of questions, so I am waiting for the mediator report to come out before discussing what their opinions are. The mediator told me she did not want to give supervised visits because of the other parents behavior, but I feel that the judge will want to offer some type of visitation since he/she will feel that visitation with both parents are in the best interests of my child. I am a stay at home dad and do not receive income to help contribute to the cost of agency supervised visitation. My child also does not have family outside of myself and my wife who understand his special needs, we both have undergone training and are very involved with his education and therapies, so I do not believe supervised visits with anyone other than us or one of his licensed therapists would be in his best interests. However, the mediator could see that I do not get along with the other parent, so she already told me that she would not order me to supervise the visits, and she felt the agency supervised visits would be the best way to go after discussing the options with his therapists and teachers, its just a question of will the judge order the other parent to pay for the visits since she is the one at fault for disrupting their relationship and needing the re-unification.

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