Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Case Law Development: Parent of Child Who Has Been Abused May Not be the Monitor for Child's Supervised Visitation with the Abusive Parent.
The trial court allowed a father, who sexually abused his adopted son, to return to the family home on weekends and designated the non-offending second parent as the monitor after finding that both parents had been participating in counseling and parenting classes. The non-offending parent was employed full time and the offending parent had been a stay-at-home parent.
The court of appeals reversed, because it found that the offending parent's return to the family home under these circumstances could not meet the needs of monitored visitation. It reasoned that even if the non-offending parent were able to arrange for another adult to monitor the visit while he was at work, "living together in the family residence will necessarily mean periods exist, even if somewhat brief (for example, when [non-offending parent] is asleep or showering), when the designated monitor will be unavailable. At least when the threat to the dependent child is the likely recurrence of sexual abuse, the concept of monitored visitation is fundamentally incompatible with around-the-clock in-home contact."
In re Ethan G., 2006 Cal. App. LEXIS 1922 (December 6, 2006)
Opinion on the web (last visited December 13, 2006 bgf)