Supervised (Monitored) Visitation
In cases involving domestic violence, or drug or alcohol abuse, a court may order a third party to be present during all visitation for the protection of the minor child. The monitor’s job is to ensure the child(ren)’s physical safety, to ensure that the child is free to have an enjoyable visit with the supervised parent, and to prevent the child(ren) from being exposed to behavior by either parent that would be physically or emotionally detrimental to the child(ren). To avoid incurring a fee for the monitor, if a trusted mutual friend or family member is available he or she will probably make an ideal monitor. If no mutually agreeable third party is available, a court can appoint an individual. Frequently an off-duty court bailiff will be available. A court-appointed monitor will usually charge a fee. The fee is usually payable by the person whose visitation has been ordered monitored by the court. Except in the case of paid monitors, there are no special qualifications for an individual to serve as a monitor. Paid monitors must have received special training to identify child abuse, and must sign a statement that he or she is aware of all requirements of reporting child abuse (Penal Code §11166.5(d)). Although paid monitors are subject to this special training, the Superior Court does not investigate the qualifications or conduct a background check of any monitor. Therefore use of a monitor is at the risk of the parents hiring the monitor.
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Copyright © 1999 Roy A. Barry, all rights reserved.