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Overview of New Jersey Supervised Visitation

New Jersey divorce law and public policy establishes a standard that both parents should remain involved in the life of a child regardless of the fact that the marriage between the spouses has come to an end. As a consequence, the non-custodial parent is entitled to what in the Garden State is known as parenting time. The term parenting time underscores the fact that a noncustodial parent is to be more than a visitor in the life of his or her child. Generally speaking, a noncustodial parent is to have reasonable and regular visitation with his or her child or children. There are rare instances in which a noncustodial parent has restrictions placed on the time that individual spends with a child or children. This article addresses what occurs in a situation involving New Jersey supervised parenting time.

What is the Best Interests of a Child?

Custody and parenting time decisions are based on what is in the best interests of a child. The best interests of a child standard is applied in regard to New Jersey supervised parenting time. The best interests of a child in custody and parenting time proceedings takes precedence over the desires and rights of the parents.

A court determines what is in the best interests of a child on a case-by-case basis. There is not a one-size fits all template used by New Jersey judges when it comes to applying the best interests of a child standard.

When it comes to considering the application of New Jersey supervised parenting time law, a judge focuses on the specific facts and circumstances at hand. A judge considers whether a child’s physical, emotional, or psychological wellbeing would be at risk if parenting time followed a typical course and was unsupervised.

What is Supervised Parenting Time?

When New Jersey supervised parenting time is ordered by a court, a noncustodial parent is not able to have time with his or her child without the presence of a court approved supervisor. New Jersey has what it calls a Supervised Visitation Program that permits a noncustodial parent to have parenting time with a child at a location approved by the court as well.

In some instances, the court-appointed supervisor might be a family member. In other cases, the court will appoint a person with training to be a parenting time supervisor.

New Jersey supervised parenting time can occur during the week as well as on weekends. It is also possible for supervised parenting time to be scheduled during holidays as well.

Requirements Associated with Supervised Parenting Time

As a matter of course, a supervised parenting time order typically contains requirements or objectives that need to be accomplished or satisfied by the noncustodial parent. For example, if a court ordered supervised parenting time as a result of a noncustodial parent having an issue with the use of illicit drugs, a requirement of that decree might be for that parent to complete a drug treatment program.

Release from Supervised Parenting Time

Supervised parenting time is not the norm. Therefore, the ultimate objective of such an order is to restore (or establish) unsupervised parenting time. If it is in the best interests of a child or children, standard unsupervised visitation is restored as soon as possible.

As mentioned a moment ago, there will be requirements associated with a supervised parenting time order issued by a court. At the heart of restoring (or establishing) will be the satisfaction of the requirements set by the court within an initial order of supervised parenting time.

A noncustodial parent has the legal ability to file a motion with the court to have supervised parenting time rescinded and a normal parenting time scheme put in place. Typically, the noncustodial parent will need to complete requirements established by the court. In some instances, substantial progress towards those requirements may be sufficient for a court to consider moving away from supervised parenting time.

In some instances, the parents might mutually agree that supervised parenting time is no longer necessary. Having said that, the court would still need to approve an end to supervised parenting time. The court would need to determine that ending supervised parenting time is in the best interests of the child or children. If you have any questions concerning custody and parenting time, call us today for a consultation at (201) 845-7400.

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