Some Tennessee parents have their parental rights stripped from them by state family law courts. Although it’s extremely rare, these parents will not have the right to even visit with their children. This kind of situation is one that most Tennessee parents will view as a nightmare scenario and they will want to avoid it at all cost by protecting and defending their rights as a parent whenever they are challenged.
One of the most vital rights that every parent will want to defend is the right to spend time with and visit with their children. Even if the other parent has received full physical custody of a child — meaning that the child will live with that parent — in nearly all cases, a court will still award the noncustodial parent visitation rights.
Visitation rights will fall in one of two categories: supervised visitation or unsupervised visitation. Obviously, the latter is better than the former; however, in very rare cases, a parent will not be able to receive unsupervised visitation, so he or she will be forced to settle with supervised visitation.
Unsupervised child visitation is exactly what it sounds like — unfettered time alone time that the noncustodial parent and the child get to spend together. Supervised visitation, on the other hand, requires a court-approved child visitation supervisor to be present at all times. A family court judge might award this inconvenient form of child visitation to a parent who has been convicted of a violent crime, been convicted of sexual violence, has a drug or alcohol addiction, is mentally or emotionally unstable or if the parent exhibits some other kind of characteristic that could endanger the child.
Ultimately, parents who face the risk of losing their unsupervised child visitation rights will want to try and protect those rights in court. An in-depth knowledge of state child custody law and how courts tend to decide cases can go a long way to help the average Tennessee parent in this regard.