Q: Is it possible for a judge to grant visitations unsupervised to a child that has not had a relationship with her father?
A: The short answer is yes, it is possible. However, just like any other case it is detail and case specific. The judge will make a best interest finding in determining what the best interest of the child is, and most of the time in this sort of situation that would be a stepped plan to introduce Dad into the child's life. It would usually start with supervised visitation and gradually work up to un supervised visits. If there are concerns with Father's involvement in the child's life, I encourage you to speak to an attorney. There are many pitfalls that in custody battles where a seasoned attorney could help you navigate. Most attorneys I know offer a free 30 minute consultation.
Paul Ylvisaker agrees with this answer
A: To add to the gentleman’s comments, often re-unification therapy with parent and child can be recommended and endorsed by the court as a pre-cursor to unsupervised parenting time. That may be coupled with age-appropriate child development counseling, beneficial to give the non-custodial parent tools to manage interactions, expectations, and issues that can arise in parenting. Most parents learn by trial and error, peer, and family support. Those may not be available to parent and a coach or therapist who’s goal is the success of the parent-child relationship can be a great help.
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