Legislation should state that a court may award visitation to a parent who has committed domestic violence only if it adequately provides for the safety of both the child and the parent who is a victim of domestic violence. Legislation should include the following options for ensuring safety for a child and the parent who has been a victim of domestic violence:

  • The court may order the exchange of a child to occur in a protected setting.
  • The court may order that the visitation be supervised by another person or an agency.
  • The court may order the perpetrator to pay a fee to defray the costs of supervised visitation.
  • The court may order the perpetrator to abstain from possession of alcohol or controlled substances both during the visitation and for 24 hours preceding the visitation.
  • The court may prohibit overnight visitation.
  • The court may require a bond from the perpetrator of domestic violence for the return and safety of the child.
  • The court may impose any other condition that is deemed necessary for the safety of the child, the complainant/survivor, or other family members.

(See: Family Violence: A Model State Code (1994), Sec. 405.)