How to Handle Supervised Visitation and Make a Good Impression
No one ever goes into a marriage and having children thinking Ooh… I can’t wait till I’ve been with someone 20 years and have an amazing child and financial stability and have everything I know torn out from my heart. My marriage is over, I have no home, no money, and I must pay some stranger to be with me while I visit my child because I’m not a fit parent. If this is your reality, then welcome to “life Hackers”- you have just been hacked. Everything as you knew it has been stripped, changed, you are obviously now guilty till proven innocent.
So, whether you believe it or not, let’s be frankly honest here- You or both of you are accused of something wrong to get here: Whether it was: DV, Addiction problems, mental health issues, Alienation, neglect, sexual assault even sickness (I have many cases that the parent is just too sick to care for their child). There are steps to get out. You have to do the steps like I have stressed. Whether it is classes or therapy. Even if you think you are 100% innocent, you are here. Like Nike says- just do it. Then go back to court with the evidence you did the steps and you will get out of this. Not before. The average is about 6 months to two years. The ones that are done sooner do not fight it.
So how to get thru it and make a good impression for supervised visitation:
Just be humble, it is not the monitor’s fault. They can be either friend or foe. The monitor is just there for the comfort of the child and for everyone’s safety. Think of it like your witness for a short time. We will try to be as easy as possible but remember we are a go between in-between two hostile parents and will offer helpful suggestions to mediate problems. You don’t have to do anything that isn’t on your court order though. So, the thing I say the most is, “We can change that if both parties agree to but if not then you’ll need to go back to the court order or go to court and get it changed”.
You don’t have to feed the monitor. I get that question a lot. But if you go to an event that involves an entrance fee, yes, you pay for the monitor’s entrance. Like a movie, or an amusement park. The monitor doesn’t need to play golf but needs to go with you. Make it fun. It doesn’t have to be a death sentence.
The monitor will take note on their phone. A supervised visitation monitor cannot give recommendations or opinions. They are not there as a nanny or a babysitter. You have to do all of the parenting and they are only alone in the transfer of the child.
Just be aware of all the rules and don’t be afraid to ask if you have questions before rather than it being an issue and on the report in a negative manner. Reports are always a sensitive issue in visitation issues. They should be an actual observation of the visit and what happened. Some monitors are minimalists, and some write down every word. Neither is wrong but they can charge for them, so I always suggest a summary report about all of the visits unless a specific incident arises.
To make a good impression, just be a parent. Try to keep a normal routine that you and the child already do, and you can introduce the supervised visitation monitor as a friend of theirs. The child will feed off of your energy and ability to keep the situation light and fun. It’s all in the best interest of the child.
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