Many residents of Tempe and other parts of the Phoenix metro area who follow the trends in family law at all may realize that, these days, courts and family law experts favor setups where two parents who are living in separate households share parenting time as much as they possibly can. This trend may give some parents in the middle of child custody cases pause to ask for supervised visitation, even if they have good grounds to do so, simply because they do not want to look bad in front of the court.
However, even despite the modern trend toward co-parenting, Arizona courts still recognize that in some cases, there is a real need to order supervised visitation. Supervised visitation orders are not granted as a matter of routine, as most Arizonans recognize. Moreover, the standard for granting supervised visitation is a little different. A parent who wants the other parent to have only supervised visitation cannot simply show that restricted visits are in the child’s best interests; the parent must show the child might actually be hurt in some way without supervised visitation.
The most common reason for supervised visitation is suspicion that a parent has abused or neglected the child and thus cannot be trusted alone with the child. However, other reasons for supervised visitation may exist as well, as visitation matters depend heavily on an individual family’s situation. Although not supervised visitation strictly speaking, in some high conflict cases, the court may order a supervised exchange of children in order to ensure parenting time begins and ends smoothly.
To answer the question, then, a parent can and often should ask for supervised visitation if he or she believes his or her child will be hurt otherwise. Of course, whether to ask for restricted visits in court is a matter that is often better discussed with an experienced Arizona family law attorney.