Parent-child access (parenting time) is ordered so that the parent who does not have primary Legal Decision Making (Custody) of the child can
still see the child. The court will order reasonable parenting time according to the age of the child, but the amount
of parenting time can vary by agreement between the parents. A judge cannot make a parent visit a child if the parent
does not want to.
Sometimes a party will ask for supervised parenting time. This means that the non-custodial parent only has parenting time
with another person present. Supervised parenting time is ordered in cases where the non-custodial parent abuses
drugs or alcohol, is violent or abusive, or does not have the parenting skills to care for the child without
another adult present. Supervised parenting time is not intended to punish the parent, but to protect the child.
The Court does not generally allow a custodial parent to totally prevent the other parent from seeing the child
on a regular basis. The only time this is appropriate is if the non-custodial parent has seriously harmed or
abused the child, or is otherwise a serious danger to the child's emotional and /or physical health, or if there
is a court order saying that the parent shall not see the child. An order of no contact by a parent is a last
resort, and is used solely to protect the child.