Supervised Visitation

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pushit

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Supervised Visitation
« on: March 28, 2021, 01:45:15 AM »
Right now I have court orders for supervised visitation only for my ex until an emergency hearing in a couple weeks.  Looks like we may settle before that hearing with an (as of now) undetermined timeframe of supervised visitation for her.  She was placed on a psych hold recently from what I understand, she's been there for a week now.  I'm guessing it will be a few months of supervised visitation, with stepping stones in place to get back to parenting unsupervised.  Due to the grandparents picking up the kids from school during her parenting time and not informing me of her absence, her family is not allowed to supervise under the current order.

This is uncharted territory for me.  I would love to hear from others who have had this in their orders.  What are some of the dos/don'ts of setting this up?  What do I need to look out for?  Any particular clauses that I should make sure to include?

Also - since this is mental health related.  What should I include in the agreement as stepping stones for her to regain the right to unsupervised parenting time?  I'm thinking some measures to ensure she is keeping up with a treatment plan, verified by an independent third party.  Also thinking of language that (any or all of the following) me/my lawyer/the courts must be notified if she is placed on a hold again, notified when she is released, and the records shared with the courts.  Not even sure if that's possible with HIPAA but you never know.  Good ideas or no?  Anything I'm missing?

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Penny Lane

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2021, 07:29:04 PM »
Hi, no experience in this, just popped in to say how glad I am that you got supervised visitation! And that the court recognized how inappropriate it was for her parents to pick up the kids without notifying you. Who is supervising visitation?

Thinking out loud, HIPAA doesn't apply to what she tells others, just to what her doctor does. So maybe you can't have a court order that says the doctors must notify you, but you certainly could have a provision that requires her to notify you immediately any time she is placed on a hold.

Good luck, I hope others with more experience can weigh in.

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2021, 10:36:45 PM »
Iím also popping in to say Iím glad you were able to get something in place to keep your kids safe. And that there were consequences for the actions of her parents.

It looks like you are doing all you can. Itís a terrible situation so it seems horrible to say this but hopefully there is someone here who has been there and can offer you more practical support.

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Bunnyme

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2021, 11:03:02 PM »
I havent been on this board much, but popped over after seeing your reply to my post on the other board.  Totally wondering the same.  Secure facility (twice in the last couple of months), rehab (twice in the last couple of months), and my attorney wants to know what I want to suggest as stepping stones to him getting back unsupervised.   I'm in a panic that I will overlook something, as it is hard to imagine a scenario where i will feel comfortable.  I know i cant stop him from getting time with the kids, but i cant even imagine what it will feel like to have to leave them unsupervised.

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hhaw

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2021, 04:25:17 AM »
Terrible situation, no good options, ime.

I hope you can get full custody if the kids, then take things as they come.

Convincing the Judge or whoever has authority right now, that you're a good parent with your children's safety and wellbeing prioritized, ALONG with helping your stbx pd be the best parent she can be, for your children's sake, might be helpful.

You should make a list of actual problems you and the kids are struggling with and things you'd like to be proactive with.  Get out ahead of.....like future psych holds and emotional breakdowns and your in laws hiding it to protect their DD.

It's understandable, but you have to stay focused on the kids while always always speaking about the stbx with deep compassion and reassurances you'll facilitate contact with kids for your childre's sake.....and for stbx.

One snarky comment to stbx or about her and you lose credibility.....you might be viewed as someone who'll block and sabotage bio mom, and that's a problem, ime.

The court wants to trust you.  Wants to believe you'll be reasonable, compassionate and facilitate the best possible relationship between the kids and struggling bio mom.

If you don't get full physical and legal custody, I hope the kids have a terrific T advocating for them WITH you.

You can stipulate the kids are monitored by the therapist to help determine how visitation is going with stbx.

The suggestion, alone, might set stbx off....show the court or opposing counsel what you and the kids are dealing with.

Just avoid making the court defensive, bc you appear to be kicking stbx when she's down, etc.

Don't help stbx appear sympathetic.

Promise the court the world...make up hopeful visitation schedules, plans, list support actions to help stbx and protect the kids.

If your in laws can't supervise, who can?

It can be daunting for people to drop what they're doing to supervise on a regular basis. 

A visitation facility will take notes, perhaps video record visits and make sure rules and safety are accounted for.

I don't know what your stbx is likely to do, sorry.  You have to tailor your statements, plans and contingencies on what you can prove, and what your gut tells you is likely, ime.

Having a child T involved, and solidly in your children's corner ( your corner) can be helpful.  Making sure they testify well should be a consideration.

Good luck.
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt

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Hangingin

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2021, 09:04:12 PM »
Right now I have court orders for supervised visitation only for my ex until an emergency hearing in a couple weeks.  Looks like we may settle before that hearing with an (as of now) undetermined timeframe of supervised visitation for her.  She was placed on a psych hold recently from what I understand, she's been there for a week now.  I'm guessing it will be a few months of supervised visitation, with stepping stones in place to get back to parenting unsupervised.  Due to the grandparents picking up the kids from school during her parenting time and not informing me of her absence, her family is not allowed to supervise under the current order.

This is uncharted territory for me.  I would love to hear from others who have had this in their orders.  What are some of the dos/don'ts of setting this up?  What do I need to look out for?  Any particular clauses that I should make sure to include?

Also - since this is mental health related.  What should I include in the agreement as stepping stones for her to regain the right to unsupervised parenting time?  I'm thinking some measures to ensure she is keeping up with a treatment plan, verified by an independent third party.  Also thinking of language that (any or all of the following) me/my lawyer/the courts must be notified if she is placed on a hold again, notified when she is released, and the records shared with the courts.  Not even sure if that's possible with HIPAA but you never know.  Good ideas or no?  Anything I'm missing?

Iím not sure what state you are in but medical records are subpoena-able if you have an active court case. Especially in family law.

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pushit

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2021, 01:35:24 AM »
I had created a couple of threads on this, so the recent replies are most certainly appreciated but unfortunately not up to date.  Things are changing quickly again, so I'll try to consolidate the threads here and keep it in one spot.

I'll give a quick update on the hearing from a month ago:  Long story short, her lawyer motioned that only events within the last 30 days should be admissible and the court accepted that, this killed our case since they hid all information about the last 30 days and we were trying to focus on her pattern of instability over the last seven years.  Most of her testimony was complete BS, but the judge believed it.  We went back to 50:50 parenting with no restrictions.  I remain completely amazed that the court didn't seem to care about a 12 day psych hold.

The update today:  This afternoon I received a phone call from my former FIL that my ex is "sick" and unable to care for the kids.  He asked me to get the kids from school today and keep them for the remainder of the week.  The long and short of it is that my ex is back in psychiatric care, her mother has power of attorney, and they don't know when she'll get out but won't give up much info.  I spoke with my lawyer today, looks like it's time to give up another 20k from my retirement account and get a PRE involved.

Sadly, it looks like this will be ongoing and financially draining.  Her dad repeatedly asked me to not get "expensive" lawyers involved today, but also didn't give up much information.  The pattern is that her family will communicate with me while she's in, but will also shut down as soon as she is out. 

Not 100% sure why I'm posting, except that I know you folks understand.  This is partly looking for answers and partly venting.

« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 07:32:26 AM by xredshoesx »

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athene1399

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2021, 01:54:36 PM »
I donít have much advice accept to say we went through something similar it is scary. BM texted SO and asked if we could take SD for the weekend because something came up. The next day, BMís mom called SO saying that BM was in the psych ward.

I am so sorry you are going through this. The courts really donít seem to understand IMO.

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Medowynd

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2021, 02:10:42 PM »
Is your ex's family financing her trips to court.  If so, how hypocritical.  They know that she is mentally ill, the kids can't be in her care, but then push for her to get the kids.  Makes no sense.  I hope that there is some strategy to get this current happening in front of the court and that they will accept the findings this time.

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pushit

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2021, 02:02:59 AM »
I highly doubt they are financing her trips to court, based on what I know of their finances and spending habits.  I think he is asking me that for a couple reasons, one being that she is hurting financially, and the other being that lawyers tend to create divisiveness which I agree with.  Even lawyers that are proactive tend to enjoy the arguing part of it to a degree.  However, they can't have it both ways.  If they want her to spend minimal money on lawyers, they need to start providing information and push their daughter to some sort of change in our parenting situation.

After more discussions it appears this event was severe, and has woken her parents up a bit.  Her dad went as far as to tell me that 1. He no longer supports unsupervised parenting time for her, 2. He doesn't think she can handle 50:50 parenting time when she is released, and 3. He realizes he didn't want to admit she had problems but he sees it now.  I hope they remain "awake" when she is released.  The problem I foresee is they have a history of being afraid of her outbursts, and things could (will) be highly combative once she is released.

For now, we've agreed that something needs to change.  I plan on having more conversations with them.  Hopefully I can get them on board so we arrive at a settlement where my ex can get back on her feet by reducing her parenting time and have it supervised in some way, create a step up plan where she is required to satisfy treatment requirements, and ensure her mental health issues that can impact the kids are no longer kept secret from me.

It's all so frustrating, but I have to admit the fact that they called me right away is a step in the right direction.  Hopefully things can get better if they are truly starting to see the reality of her mental health struggles, and are willing to step up and make things right for their grandkids.  Not holding my breath just yet though.

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2021, 10:45:18 AM »
It does sound like her parents are coming around which is a good thing in terms of getting cooperation from them in this.

My exes family went to see him when he was on a hold. They were shocked to see hi there and their take away was that he wasn’t “as bad” as the other patients and didn’t belong there.

I’ve mentioned this before but it is incredibly hard to get someone admitted. People don’t end up there for trivial reasons.

You’d have no need for “expensive lawyers” if your in-laws would see the situation for what it is and work with you. Hopefully they will come around. It will go along way with the judge to have her parents saying the same thing as you.

The issue with these holds is that they are so short. Insurances only pay for a certain number of days. People don’t understand this. They think that when someone is released it’s because they are better. All these stays do is stabilize people and release them. Then the whole cycle starts again.

Hang in there.

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Bunnyme

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2021, 02:44:09 AM »
I'm so sorry.  You have my sympathy, as I just got done with another 10 day hold on mine.  I dont have any advice, as I'm about to be drained financially.
You arent alone.  Just came to say "vent away," as it seems so many people unfamiliar with PDs just dont get it. 

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CagedBirdSinging

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Re: Supervised Visitation
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2021, 05:21:13 PM »
Is your ex's family financing her trips to court.  If so, how hypocritical.  They know that she is mentally ill, the kids can't be in her care, but then push for her to get the kids.  Makes no sense.  I hope that there is some strategy to get this current happening in front of the court and that they will accept the findings this time.

My in laws are the same. They know stbx is mentally I'll. When he had his last consultation with the psychiatrist, they provided detailed testimony about his lifelong struggles with mental health (at that time he was trying to get diagnosed with asd, and they were supportive of that). They know he's unstable, yet they are calling him daily to ask if he has gained custody of the kids. This is what bugs me. They know what he is like, so why are they pushing for him to have custody?!

Push it, thanks for your posts. I'm sorry for what you are going through. I don't understand why judges don't take mental health issues more seriously, when they impact on childrens wellbeing and safety. I have absolutely no faith in the legal system to support my case, and I am terrified to leave the kids alone with PD. It's so tough. Only people who have been through this can truly understand.