The Delicate Balance

family law solicitors, The Delicate Balance, Merridy Elphick Lawyers

The Delicate Balance

The delicate balance between a child’s right to spend time with both parents and protecting them from any potential risk of harm is often attempted by way of Orders for the child’s time with a parent to be supervised.

‘Supervision’ is provided by an independent and responsible person being present during the time a parent spends time with their child. Supervision may be considered when:

  • there are concerns about a child’s safety
  • allegations of family violence are raised
  • allegations of parental drug or alcohol use are raised
  • allegations of parental mental illness


Supervision can be facilitated through a Children’s Contact Centre or by a family member or friend.

Commonly, if a family member or person other that a professional supervision service is undertaking the supervision, the family member may be required to ‘be in the presence of’ or ‘in the company of’ the parent and the child, as opposed to superficially ‘supervising’ that time.

A supervisor may have to report to the court on how the supervised time is going. It is for this reason that we recommend any supervisor make notes of each visit, including the date, time and duration of the visit, and notes about how the parent and child interacted or if there were any issues.

We can provide you with advice about your obligations or options if you are considering undertaking the role of a ‘supervisor’ or if you think that supervision is necessary in your family law matter.

You can speak to one of our experienced family law solicitors by contacting our office on 4929 2225.