Morris County Family Lawyers Discuss Therapeutic Supervised Visitation and Family Reunification Therapy
New Jersey Family Courts are challenged on a daily basis by difficult cases involving families ripped apart by painful and sometimes traumatic parent-child relationships. Many of these children of divorced or unmarried co-parents have been separated from their parents as a result of parental substance abuse, child abuse, serious mental illnesses, domestic violence, or a hostile and contentious divorce, and have had little or no contact with this non-custodial figure for an extended time period. To promote healthy bonding between the child and the absent parent, while ensuring the safety and welfare of the child, New Jersey has statutes (N.J.S.A. 2A:12-7) and Therapeutic Supervised Visitation Programs in place to heal wounds and severed relationships through normal, healthy family interaction and eventually reunification.
What is Therapeutic Supervised Visitation?
Within a neutral, safe, structured environment and weekly supervised visits, both parent and child are supported in having nurturing and developmentally appropriate interactions. In circumstances were children have been separated in foster care, these visits provide siblings with an opportunity to share quality time in a recreational and fun atmosphere.
Are you facing a case that may require therapeutic supervised visitation? Thankfully, New Jersey courts believe children of divorced or unmarried co-parents should spend as much time as possible with both parents. If you are interested in playing an active role in your children’s lives, the law is on your side.
Serving clients in Morristown, Parsippany, Mendham, Florham Park and across Morris County and Northern NJ
At Jacobs Berger, LLC, our founding attorneys have nearly 25 years of combined experience assisting clients with child custody and parenting-time matters across Madison, Randolph, Hanover, Florham Park, Morris County, and throughout New Jersey. Our unique approach to family law matters centers around open and honest communication between the parties, and finding solutions which empower parents to create stability within their co-parenting relationship, the relationship with their children, to build healthy family life plans through difficult family law problems.
Under What Circumstances Does a Morris County Family Court Order Therapeutic Supervised Visitation?
The judge must always consider the child’s best interests when making any custodial orders.
Supervised visitation will be ordered if high-conflict families experience or are at risk for domestic violence, there has been a history of child abuse, physical or verbal abuse, substance abuse, medical disabilities, psychiatric problems or other situations where the safety and welfare of the child may be jeopardized (i.e., instances of neglect or poor parenting skills). Usually, an adult who is trained for therapeutic supervised visitation will be appointed by the court. The parties can also agree on a third party to supervise, such as a grandparent or family friend. These designated adults will monitor visits and ensure that the safety and welfare of the child are protected. Visitation can occur at the courthouse, a community organization, or even the custodial parent’s home, depending on the circumstances.
In addition, parents with a history of severe parental alienation, or who have threatened to take off with the child(ren), are also common candidates that the court will consider for therapeutically supervised visitation.
What Can I Expect From My Supervised Visitations in Morris County?
Therapeutic supervised visitations are normally a short-term practice which can potentially lead to increased parenting time opportunities. With the support of a trained mental health professional, supervised visitations occur in a neutral, conflict-free environment, and are a safe educational opportunity for non-custodial parent to correct past negative behavior patterns, and learn more appropriate parenting skills.
If the visits are supervised because one parent has a severe physical disability that prevents them from caring for the child, then that parent’s sibling or the child’s grandparents may be able to supervise the visit to make sure that the child’s needs are met during the visit.
In addition to working with the parent and child, these experienced therapists work with the whole family to ensure a healthy transition and reintegration process, helping each party process the doubts, fears and guilt all parties may feel, in order to rebuild trust.
Ultimately, successful reunification therapy means that the court can order regular unsupervised visitation.
How Long Does a Therapeutic Supervised Visitation in Randolph Last?
Although initial visits are often limited to a few hours, if the supervised parent displays an improvement in their care and interaction, the length of the visit can be extended. In cases of substantiated substance abuse, visitation restrictions might be lifted once they complete a substance abuse evaluation or rehabilitation. In circumstances of physical violence, the court might order the parent to attend anger management or domestic violence classes. Once the party has completed the orders of the court, supervision may be lifted. The court might also require a hearing to re-evaluate the need for supervised visitation once the party completes his or her obligations.
Contact our Morristown Therapeutic Supervised Visitation and Family Reunification Attorneys Today
The therapeutic supervised visitation attorneys of Jacobs Berger, LLC have extensive experience assisting clients from Morris County towns including Randolph, Madison, Morristown, Florham Park, Denville, East Hanover and across Northern New Jersey. We understand that matters involving a child’s safety and well-being, require proactive and creative solutions that promote healthy child-parent relationships, and when possible family reunification.
Our attorneys are dedicated to mitigating the emotional and psychological stressors of divorce, child custody or the custody modification process. Contact us online or through our Morristown offices by calling (973) 710-4366 today for a strategic planning session and to learn more about how we can best serve your needs.