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Georgia Child Custody: What is Supervised Visitation?

In a divorce or family law case, if there is a history of abuse in the family, especially toward the child, Georgia courts will most likely grant supervised visitation. The courts usually seek to promote a relationship between the child and both parents, obviously without jeopardizing the child’s well being in any way.

Visitation rights in Georgia are awarded when a parent has no custody over the child. The court will set the guidelines for visitation depending on the circumstances and will ensure that they do not infringe in any way on the custodial parent’s rights and responsibilities.

In the context of a divorce or family law case, a supervised visitation setting the non-custodial parent is allowed to visit with his or her child while someone else is present. The parents will agree on who this person is, and it is often a friend or relative, but never the custodial parent. The court will appoint someone if the parties cannot agree and will also set the time and location for the visits. A social worker or other qualified child care professional may be appointed in certain cases.Generally, the third party does not participate in the visitation in any way, but instead notes the child’s and parent’s behavior and will only interrupt if he or she feels the child’s safety is being threatened.

The court also has a right to suspend visitation if it believes that doing so is in the best interests of the child. As mentioned before, the court is usually in favor of the child having a relationship with both parents, but will deny the non-custodial parent these rights if they are incarcerated, if severe abuse threatens the future safety or stability of the child, upon the child’s request, in situations of addiction, and sometimes until child support is caught up on.

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