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Supervised visitation offers options for Michigan parents

If there is some concern about your child's well-being, can you still be involved in his or her life through child custody proceedings? Indeed, even parents who may not be entrusted with their children on their own may be entitled to supervised visitation, which allows for parenting time in a structured, monitored setting. Michigan parents do not have to be excluded from their child's life entirely just because they have experienced some behavioral or legal issues.

There are three general types of supervised parenting for Michigan parents. Supervised parenting may be ordered to promote the establishment of a new relationship between the parent and child. It may also be ordered for parents who are accused of sexual or physical abuse of the children.

Therapeutic supervised parenting occurs in the context of therapy. For example, this can occur when the parent has had an extended absence. In some cases, the parent may not have even known that he had a child! Other parents who have been incarcerated or institutionalized may benefit from therapeutic visitation.

Third party supervision, another type of supervised parenting, allows parents to exercise their visitation rights in the presence of an independent monitor. This could be a friend or relative. Parents who have a history of drug or alcohol dependency may benefit from this type of supervision.

Finally, agency-monitored supervision is the most stringent of the three options. Parents who use this type of parenting plan have often been accused of domestic abuse or high-level substance abuse. Parenting time occurs through a government agency with an officially sanctioned supervisor.

Even if you have had some behavioral or legal difficulties in the past, you may still be eligible for visitation rights with your children. An experienced family attorney may be able to provide you with the information you need to exercise your parental rights. It is often in the best interests of the child to involve both parents, even if a creative custody or visitation schedule is required.

Source: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, "Michigan Parenting Time Guideline" Oct. 08, 2014

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