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How are visitation rights handled with allegations of abuse?

When a Colorado couple has a child, the court will do its best to try and have both parents in the child's life. In general, if one parent has been granted child custody, then the other parent will receive visitation rights. However, not all cases are the same and in some instances, the best interests of the child are not suited by the noncustodial parent having extensive, unsupervised visitation rights. This is especially true if there was abuse as part of the relationship between the parents and the parent and child. Understanding how the law addresses these issues is critical for the custodial and noncustodial parents.

The court will examine the evidence regarding abusive or neglectful behavior, domestic abuse or sexual assault that led to the child being conceived and will consider these factors when the parenting plan is established and approved. The court can place conditions on parenting time that will seek to make sure the child's safety is paramount. It will also make certain the abused party is safe.

There can be provisions that the court can put in place. They might include: an order that limits contact to a location that is believed to be safe and will keep unnecessary communication between the parties to a minimum; that the exchange between parents be done in a protected area; that there be supervised parenting time; that overnight parenting time be restricted; that the party who committed the above acts not have consumed alcohol or controlled substances while receiving visitation; that the child's address not be provided; that conditions be in place as necessary to protect the child; and that child support payments be made via registry so no contact is necessary between the parties.

These situations are exceedingly difficult for the parents and the child. The courts will do what it can to ensure safety while giving parents who have faced such allegations in the past a chance to have visitation. When facing this type of case, having legal assistance is of undeniable importance. A lawyer with understanding of how to deal with these complex parenting time issues is vital.

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