Crafting a custody agreement can be difficult. There’s a reason, after all, that most custody arrangements are put together by the courts. If you are in the midst of putting together your custody arrangement, it may be difficult for you to determine what you can and cannot do. The field is difficult and you may be making all of your assumptions based off of material you’ve seen on television and in the movies. In reality, you have a great deal more leeway over the types of visitation that are possible. One question you may have is about supervised visitation and whether or not you can ask for it in your custody agreement.
It’s important to start with the basic fact that any cooperative agreement has far more leeway than the court. Cooperative agreements are largely viewed as positive by the court specifically because they don’t take up much time and they give couples a chance to work things out between themselves. As such, many alternative custody and visitation agreements can be created that wouldn’t otherwise be issued by the court. One such agreement you can make is for supervised visitation, though this will ultimately have to be approved. If both you and your ex agree that supervised visitation is for the best, though, the odds are in favor of this agreement being approved.
There are, however, a few caveats about supervised visitation that you might need to keep in mind. First and foremost is that it’s very difficult to get someone to agree to supervised visitation without the court making the order. Supervised visitation not only requires the help of court personnel, but it also requires that the other party be willing to follow some fairly strict rules to make sure that it happens. Unless you have some kind of very powerful bargaining chip, it’s very unlikely that your spouse will agree that supervised visitation is the best move.
It’s also important to note that your agreement can be nullified by the court, especially if the other party brings up reasonable objections to the document later down the road. Supervised visitation should not be used as a method to punish the other party, especially if the court would otherwise be amenable to unsupervised visitation or even joint custody. This is a very restrictive act and attempting to impose it without good reason is basically asking for your agreement to be nullified at a later time.
Finally, it’s important to consider the reason why you want supervised visitation in the first place. This is a very special kind of visitation, one that understands that the other parent deserves contact with a child but also acts as if the contact might be dangerous if the parent is not supervised. Do you believe that your child is in some kind of danger with the other parent? Are you seeking supervised visitation for a reason not necessarily connected to the safety of your child? If so, it might be better to give the court the responsibility of deciding what kind of visitation is best for your child.
Supervised visitation is something you may ask for in your custody agreement. The court is very likely to approve of this kind of visitation and it may work out for everyone. There are many reasons why it might not work, though, and many reasons why your former spouse might challenge your decision to ask for this kind of custody. You may need to be prepared for a fight, even if your former spouse has initially been receptive to the idea of supervised visitation. Nothing is final until the decree is signed, and even then things can always change. If you are going for supervised visitation, it’s important that you have a good reason for doing so and that you are prepared to fight for it on behalf of your child.