Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Supervised visitation is awarded in Florida child custody cases if it is in the best interest of the children to shield them from certain harm which might come from unsupervised timesharing. The most common example is situations involving domestic violence. If a child has witnessed a parent committing domestic violence, or the child has herself been the victim of abuse at the hands of a parent, supervised visits may be appropriate. However, supervised visits usually cannot be permanent as explored in the case Solomon v. Solomon, 3D17-1553 (Fla 3d DCA 2018). 

In this case, at the time the wife filed for divorce, she also sought an injunction for protection against domestic violence on behalf of herself and the parties' two minor children. The parties were ordered to undergo psychological evaluations which resulted in supervised visits being recommended by the psychologist. Although both the psychologist and a later-appointed guardian ad litem recommended that the husband's timesharing progress to unsupervised visitation, a final judgment was entered granting the husband only supervised timesharing. 

The husband appealed this final judgment on the basis that it did not specify the steps he needed to take to obtain unsupervised timesharing. The appellate court agreed with the husband, holding, " Where a final judgment fails to set forth what steps a parent must take in order to establish unsupervised timesharing, the final judgment must be reversed and remanded for the trial court to identify such steps." The case was remanded back to the trial court for a determination to be made as to what steps the husband needed to take to have his timesharing unrestricted. 

If you are facing supervised timesharing, contact a Miami child custody lawyer to determine what should be done to ensure that you are eventually awarded unsupervised visitation. A consultation may help you decide the next best steps in your case.