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Can Parents Lose Their Visitation Rights?

Parental rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution. However, parents may lose those rights in certain circumstances. Courts will always act in what they deem to be the best interests of a child, which might mean supervised visitation or even cutting off all ties with a parent if he or she poses some sort of threat to the child’s well being.

The following are some examples of scenarios in which a judge may order visitation under supervision only:

  • The parent has committed domestic violence in the past
  • The parent has a history of abusing drugs, alcohol or other substances
  • The parent has a history of emotional instability
  • The parent has mental health or capacity issues
  • The parent lives with another person with a history of abuse or who poses any type of danger to the child
  • The parent alienates a child from the other parent

Supervised visitation is usually only ordered for a temporary period. The court will usually allow a parent to work his or her way back into unsupervised visitation so long as that individual maintains good behavior. But if the dangers posed by the parent do not go away, the court can make those supervised visits permanent.

A parent completely losing visitation rights does not happen often, but will take place in last resort situations if a parent has physically or sexually abused the child (or any other child) and visitation poses too great a risk for the child, either physically or emotionally.

For more information on creating sound visitation schedules and the rights you have as a parent, contact a skilled family law attorney with Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.