Many divorces result in one parent having primary custody of his or her child and the other parent having visitation rights. While the court generally attempts to respect parents' rights to see their children and spend time with them, certain restrictions on visitation will be imposed if believed to be in the best interests of the child. One example of this is when the court orders monitored visitation. When this happens, someone appointed or approved by the court is required to be present when the visits between the parent and child occur.
Monitored visitation can be ordered because of a parent's history of substance abuse, domestic violence or child abuse and neglect. It can also be ordered in other types of scenarios, such as if the parent has a mental illness or a parenting problem exists that is believed to put the child at risk, when there is belief that the child is at risk of being abducted by the noncustodial parent, or when the child is being reintroduced to a parent with whom he or she does not currently have a relationship. According to California law, a parent's visitation may be supervised or other such restrictions if it is found that he or she knowingly made false reports of child abuse or child sexual abuse in order to interfere with the other parent's lawful contact with the child. With supervised visitation, the court will determine when and for how long the supervised visits will occur. The court will sometimes also even choose the locations where the visits will need to occur. It should be noted that overnight visitation is not feasible when a parent's visitation is monitored because something could occur while the monitor is asleep.