Supervised vs. Unsupervised Parenting

A Father Supervising His Daughter Outdoors
March 8, 2017
|   updated:
July 11, 2023

In most custody arrangements that aren’t equally or jointly divided, one parent is considered custodial and awarded sole custody of the children. The other parent is non-custodial, but is typically awarded parenting time, or the right to see and visit with their children on a set schedule.

The Difference between Supervised and Unsupervised Parenting

There are two major types of parenting time: supervised and unsupervised. The main difference between the two is essentially an additional adult chaperone. Unsupervised parenting time allows parents to see and visit with their children on a set schedule, with no other adult required to be present during the time of the visit. Supervised parenting time is deemed necessary if a custody arrangement is considerably more contentious or if the non-custodial parent is seen as threatening or unreliable to leave alone with the children.

Resources for Supervised Parenting Time

The good news is if you’re unhappy with supervised parenting time, in most cases you have the option to get into the realm of unsupervised parenting time. For instance, if your custody arrangement involves alcohol issues, you can opt into a alcohol monitoring program and use mobile testing technology to confirm sobriety during parenting time.

It’s worth noting that while there are options to change parenting time from supervised to unsupervised, the opposite transition is also true. Those who enjoy unsupervised parenting time can be reverted to supervised parenting time. This can happen for a number of reasons including emotional distress to the child or inappropriate behavior on part of the non-custodial parent.

When it comes to parenting time, the burden lies with the non-custodial parent to change their circumstances. If parents believe they deserve a different type of parenting time, there are a great number of tools available to them to work on achieving unsupervised parenting time. Contact your family lawyer to see if you’re eligible for any technology or programs that may alter your current parenting time arrangement.

About the Author

Soberlink supports accountability for sobriety through a comprehensive alcohol monitoring system. Combining a breathalyzer with wireless connectivity, the portable design and technology includes facial recognition, tamper detection and real-time reporting. Soberlink proves sobriety with reliability to foster trust and peace of mind.

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