Men and women who have been accused of domestic violence often have to deal with many different changes to the way they live. Even while the criminal case is moving through the system, there will be ramifications. Among other consequences, the time you spend with your children may be supervised.
A lot of people don’t realize that the court might order supervised visitation out of an abundance of caution. The children don’t need to be put in any danger, so even if you aren’t convicted of domestic violence, the court might find that you can’t be alone with your children. Even though the situation isn’t ideal, there are ways that you can encourage bonding and productive visits during this time.
Focus on your children
You must remain focused on your children during the supervised visit. You aren’t there to make chitchat with the person who is supervising the visit, and you shouldn’t just sit down and watch your children. Instead, find ways to interact with the kids during the visit. They might feel shy at first because of the stranger who is there but you can work with them to reduce their anxiety and fear. Starting each visit off with a positive attitude about it can go a long way. Just remember that you are spending time with your children and that’s what matters.
Prepare for less-than-perfect visits
Not all visits will go as planned. There might be times when the children are cranky or things just aren’t the best. You can use these times to teach your children a valuable lesson about making the best out of whatever situation you are placed in. Try not to let the negative aspects of the visit ruin the memories that you make with your children.
Plan ahead for fun
The location of the visits can have a big impact on what you are able to do. If you can, try to bring things that you and the children can do together. This might mean that you take toys or puzzles with you. Think about the things that your children will enjoy and go from there. In some cases, you might be able to have the supervised visits in different locations. This would enable you to choose fun places with the approval of the supervising party.
Show up to the visits
Most importantly, make sure that you actually go to the visits. You might be tempted to cancel because of the supervision, but you should remember that your actions can impact your children. In some cases, reports of your interactions with the children might be used to make decisions about child custody in the future.