Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Choose your Monitor Wisely!

A Maine woman is charged with endangering the life of a child in a child abduction case. Jennifer Dore from Maine was supervising a visit between BethMarie Retamozzo and her children last month. Retamozzo drove away with the children and was lost in traffic. Dore did not report the incident to the authorities and spoke with them more than five hours later when the police contacted her. 

The children were reported missing by their grandmother on August 15. Retamozzo and the children were found more than 1,100 miles away sleeping in their car at a rest stop on Interstate 95 in South Carolina. The police went to South Carolina and returned the children to Maine on August 26.

Dore was not a professional monitor, she was an acquaintance of the family and was selected by the parties to monitor the visits. She was not paid for her services. She is scheduled to appear in court on November 5.

In California, you also have an option to select a non-professional monitor to supervise visits. There can be a number of benefits in selecting a family friend or relative to monitor visits: it’s cheaper, there can more flexibility in time and locations of visits, the children may be more at ease in front of people they already know just to name a few. That said, be careful in selecting a monitor. If supervised visits are appropriate, then there are concerns about the children’s safety while with that parent. In selecting a monitor, the person must be someone you trust and that will protect the children, even if that requires preventing the supervised parent from doing or not doing something. Especially with family friends and/or relatives of the supervised parent, this can be difficult to do since they may feel loyalty to that parent. 

Being a monitor is a big responsibility and it’s important that you explain their duties and responsibilities. If they are unwilling to perform those duties, then you’re better off selecting a different monitor or paying a professional monitor.

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