The Greater Nashua Supervised Visitation Center is expecting to close its doors at the end of the year due to a lack of federal funding. This closure further reduces the options available to parents needing supervision of their parenting time. Since the 2014 closing of the Manchester YWCA supervision center, only a handful of supervised visitation centers remain in New Hampshire. In 2016, Focus on Families opened in Manchester, filling part of the void. However, due to the limited hours each of the centers offer for supervision services, there is often more cases needing supervision than time available to supervise. With the closing of the Greater Nashua Supervised Visitation Center, the shortage of available supervision will only increase. Supervised visitation centers serve an important role in family law in New Hampshire.
The need for supervised visitation services is generally as a result of child abuse or domestic violence, but can also be the result of drug or alcohol abuse. Supervision can sometimes be limited to the parenting exchanges. This is often necessary if the parents are not permitted to have contact due to a domestic violence or other restraining order. However, supervision is often needed for the entire time the children spend with a parent. When visitations are fully supervised, a caseworker is present in the room and monitors the entire visit. The caseworker also prepares notes about the visit, and can also intervene if the parent is behaving inappropriately. If necessary, the caseworker can terminate the visit.
As we face the closing of the Greater Nashua Supervised Visitation Center, we are left with only one available supervision center in southern New Hampshire. If the parents do not have family members willing or able to supervise a visit, parents may be forced to travel out of state to find supervision. Alternatively, parents may be unable to spend any time at all with their children. As a result, there are many different considerations being made as to how to deal with the problem, including increased counseling requirements, completion of anger management classes, and other ways the Court can compel a parent that needs supervision to seek help.
If you are facing a need for supervised visitation for your ex, or even for yourself, the experienced attorneys at Parnell, Michels &McKay can assist you in obtaining the appropriate family law relief for your case. Contact us if you need assistance for your case.