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How do you handle supervised visitation?

If you have been allowed only supervised visitation with your children, you need to prepare yourself for the process if you ever want to get back to a standard visitation schedule again.

Here's a list of tips to commit to memory before the first visit starts:

  1. Make sure you understand the rules for the visitation and follow them to the letter. For example, find out -- in advance -- what time you are expected to arrive and who to notify if an emergency happens that will prevent you from coming.
  2. Don't skip a visit unless you absolutely have to do so. You want to show that you're committed to your relationship with your children.
  3. Never ask the monitor to bend the rules or do you any special favors. You can bet that the judge in your case will hear about it.
  4. Never use profanity in front of your children or raise your voice. Part of the monitor's job is to evaluate how well you handle the stress of parenting.
  5. Don't complain to your kids about the supervised visitation, your ex-spouse or the judge handling your case, no matter how unfair you think the situation is. Focus on making the visit happy for your children.
  6. Have a plan for your time. You probably won't be able to take the kids outside of the visitation center, so that means thinking of creative ways to entertain your kids. Pick a favorite book, find a board game you can all play or buy a box of Legos to share.
  7. Show interest in the details of your children's lives. Ask about school, their friends, their favorite television shows and video games.
  8. Do not press your children for details about your ex-spouse's life or try to find out what your ex is saying about you. If your child brings up the subject, gently steer away from the subject by saying that you'd rather talk about something else.

Supervised visitation doesn't feel like normal parenting because everything you do or say is on display -- and gets reported to the court later. That's why you want to make certain that you don't give the judge any reason to continue the order past your next court date.

For more advice on child custody issues, talk to an attorney today.

Source: Our Family Wizard, "Making the Most of Supervised Visitation," accessed July 27, 2017

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