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Supervised Visitation in Florida: It’s All About the Child

| Dec 2, 2021 | Family Law

Florida law starts with the presumption that children need both parents in their lives. Study after study confirms that, in most cases, children develop best when they have access to both parents.

After a divorce, the best arrangement is for both Florida co-parents to have plenty of visitation with their children. Sometimes, though, because of prior abuse, neglect, long periods of absence, the potential for abduction/kidnapping, or serious mental illness, certain children do not benefit from having one parent (or both parents) in their lives. Furthermore, time-sharing and visitation arrangements demand something that falls in the middle.

In this case, you, your child’s other parent, and/or a judge might order supervised visitation.

How Does Supervised Visitation Work?

Supervised visitation is an arrangement wherein a parent will get physical access to their child in a supervised setting. Co-parents subject to supervised visitation often start out with a few hours per week with their children. Don’t be surprised if the supervised visitation in your case is tightly controlled at first—whether you agree with the judge’s position or not, the decision-makers felt like the supervised arrangement is in the best interests of your child.

Who Is the Supervisor?

If supervised visitation with your child is ordered, the supervisor will probably be a social worker, case manager, or private supervising agency. This arrangement is usually reserved for more severe cases of abuse or neglect. Many times, though, supervised visitation begins this way under an abundance of caution.

Depending on your circumstances, a relative or family friend may serve as the supervisor. Additionally, you may get to spend time with your child at your residence or somewhere in public.

How Long Will a Judge Order Supervised Visitation?

This aspect of Florida visitation arrangements is also dependent on the circumstances of individual cases. The judge may order supervised visitation indefinitely, with no set timetable for the shift to unsupervised visitation. Other times, judges order supervised visitation with a particular end date in mind.

We know that the ultimate goal of supervised visitation is to transition the time with your child into a more normal arrangement where you both can relax. Taking your child to the playground or simply watching movies together is much more appealing than sitting in an unfamiliar room with a stranger breathing down your neck.


However frustrating it may be, the best way for the state to relax supervised visitation with your child is to abide by the rules and prove you are a positive presence in your child’s life. If you are having any issues with your parenting plan—such as wanting to modify your current arrangement or crafting a new one—you need personalized legal representation.

Rotella & Hernandez focuses on giving each one of our clients representation that matches their needs and goals. Every situation is different, and nothing is more important than your children. Contact our team today to get a caring law firm on your side.