When Supervised Visits are Necessary
If visits with a non-custodial parent pose a significant risk for a child’s physical or emotional well-being, a court can order that visits with the child occur only under the supervision of a third party. Normally, a court will attempt to ascertain if a family member – for example, an uncle or grandmother – is a suitable person to attend and be present at all times during visits, thereby assuring the safety of the child. If an appropriate family member(s) can be identified, and those persons are willing to donate their time and effort, a court will usually order that visits will occur under the supervision of those specific persons. If a suitable family member cannot be identified, the court will then order that visits occur under the supervision of a private provider.
All things being equal, Travis County courts prefer familial supervision over institutional supervision because there is less disruption for the child and visits takes place in a more natural setting.
*Other counties have similiar programs, for example, Hays County uses a program called Kids Exchange.