Judges in recent years have aired on the side of awarding parents joint physical custody of their child whenever possible largely because scientific research shows that doing so is often in the best interest of the child.

There are some situations, though, in which a parent has not yet proven him or herself to have an appropriate influence on their impressionable child.

This may occur because a parent and child have been estranged for some time, a parent is recovering from having a substance abuse problem, or has a history of abuse. In situations such as these, a judge may order that a parent only be allowed visitation with his or her child, with an option to revisit awarding joint physical custody in the future.

When it comes to visitation, there are two primary types of it: unsupervised and supervised. Unsupervised visitation is the most common of the two.

A parent who is entitled to unsupervised visitation will generally pick up his or her child from either the other parent’s home or a previously agreed upon public place and transport the child elsewhere. This other place may either be a public venue for an outing or the parent’s own home. The parent who is awarded unsupervised visitation may be subjected to certain predefined limitations.

Some of these limitations will likely center around the days and times that the child can be taken. It may also limit where the child can transported to. There may be additional restrictions placed on the visitation if a child is young enough that he or she is breastfeeding. If so, then the parent awarded visitation may be limited to having unsupervised visitation at the mother’s home only until the baby can eventually drink from a bottle.

A parent who is awarded supervised visitation can only see his or her child in the presence of another adult. That individual can’t just be anyone, though. While in some cases, a judge will allow a family friend or grandparent to sit in on such visits, in other cases, he or she may require that the supervision be handled by a court officer or social worker.

If you’re interested in seeking visitation with your child, then a Trenton attorney can advise you of your prospects of being awarded it.

Source: The Spruce, “Types of child custody and visitation,” Jennifer Wolf, accessed March 16, 2018