Supervised Custody

23 Pa. C.S. 5322 defines all the different variations of custody. Physical custody is defined as “the actual physical possession and control of a child.” Physical custody can be supervised if warranted. Generally, the court is considering if the welfare and safety of the child necessitates supervision. If supervision is deemed to be necessary, you have to establish who would supervise the custody time be it an agency of the court, one of the parties involved, or a third party. If using a third party, that person should acquire an understanding of the responsibilities of serving as a supervisor and what types of behavior are not permitted.

Philadelphia County provides for court-sponsored supervision in the Family Court building located at 1501 Arch Street. Parties may utilize the program on Sundays. Parties must bring their court orders for each scheduled visitation. Bucks County has two independent programs that provide supervision for custody matters: Kids First and the Assurance Group. Both programs offer professional supervision for a fee. This would eliminate the need for parties to pick other family members or friends as supervisors when they potentially don’t want to be involved in the custody matter. The programs are also helpful in that reports are generated detailing what occurs at the visits which can be referred to in future custody proceedings.

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