Decided: July 16, 2009
Justice Laura E. Drager NEW YORK COUNTY Supreme Court
DECISION AND ORDER
Defendant (the "Father") seeks the elimination of supervision of his access time with the child of the marriage and a modification of the access schedule. Plaintiff (the "Mother") opposes the Father's application. In addition, she seeks re-institution of professional supervised visitation and a decrease in the Father's access time. The court conducted a trial on June, 11, 12, 13; November 12, 20; December 5, 10, 2008; February 19 and 20, 2009 and held a Lincoln hearing with the child of the marriage who was represented by counsel throughout these proceedings. The court also considered the post-trial submissions.
The parties married on June 6, 2000. The daughter of the marriage was born on May 25, 2001. The Father moved out of the marital residence on December 1, 2001. The Mother commenced a divorce action in 2002. This court has presided over the case since its inception. Although the Father had enjoyed unsupervised time with the child after the parties separated, during the course of the divorce proceedings, the Mother sought supervised visitation of the Father's access time with the child. On February 22, 2003, the parties entered into a Stipulation of Settlement (the "Stipulation") in which they agreed to joint decision-making custody, with the Mother having physical custody of the child. The Stipulation further provided that the Father's visitation would be partially supervised, but that he could seek a review of the need for continued supervision in seven and a half months. The Stipulation was incorporated into but not merged with the Judgment of Divorce.
In August 2004, the Mother filed a motion seeking professional supervised visitation for the Father. The Father cross-moved for expanded visitation and alleged that the Mother interfered with his access time. The Mother's application was based on claims of the child's fear of the Father due to his inappropriate conduct during her visits. In addition, the Mother contended that the Father acted inappropriately at the child's pre-school program. She claimed that according to school personnel, the Father remained in the classroom past the normal adjustment period for a child new to school. He followed the child around in the classroom and interfered with her space. He did not pick up on the staff's suggestions or the child's signals to be left alone and incessantly photographed her. He peeked into the school playground to such an extent that the child did not want to play. 1
The court appointed an attorney for the child and ordered a forensic evaluation. Supervised visitation was put in place. The forensic report, prepared by Dr. _____, a forensic psychologist, was issued on January 5, 2005 (the "First Report"). Supervised visitation continued as the parties considered whether to proceed to trial. Initially, the visits were supervised by a social worker. Overtime, professional supervision decreased and beginning in January 2006 family members and non-professionals (typically college students) took over all supervision responsibilities. For a period of time, neither party sought further court intervention.
During the spring of 2006, after professional supervision ended, the child's pre-school again filed a report with ACSagainst the Father. According to the child's teacher and the school's Director, the child's functioning at school had declined. Among other concerns, the Director of the school claimed that the child said the Father sucked her fingers and kissed her excessively. The child drew pictures that her teacher and the Director found disturbing. The Director was concerned that the child was being sexually abused. ACS again determined the complaint to be unfounded.
In August 2006, the Father moved in court for reconsideration of the need for any supervised visitation and to revise the access schedule in accordance with the parties' Stipulation. Among other contentions, the Father claims that the Mother was behind the filing of the two ACS complaints and that she had alienated the child from him. The Mother denied having any role in the filing of the ACS complaints, but she now seeks reinstatement of professional supervision and reduced access time for the Father. The court reappointed the same lawyer for the child and ordered an updated forensic evaluation by the same psychologist who had issued the first report (the "Second Report"). The trial resulting in this decision was the first hearing held in this case on any issue related to custody.
"'Visitation is a joint right of the noncustodial parent and the child.' (Citations omitted)." Cervera v. Bressler, 50 AD3d 837 (2d Dept. 2008). It is within the sound discretion of the trial court to determine if supervised visitation is necessary. The need for supervision is not limited to instances where a court fears for the child's physical safety; a court can also consider if a parent has a negative impact on the child's emotional well being. The question of whether it is appropriate to end supervised visitation is governed by what is in the child's best interest. Frank M. V. Donna W., 44 AD3d 495 (1st Dept. 2007); Allen v. Farrow, 197 AD2d 327 (1st Dept. 1994), app dism sub. nom, Matter of Woody A v. Maria V.F., 84 NY2d 864 (1994), 86 NY2d 761 (1995), lv den., 86 NY2d 709 (1995).
The existence of an agreement between the parties with respect to custody should be given weighty, but not absolute priority, particularly where a court never conducted a custody trial. An agreement of the parties cannot bind the court; the court must render its decision after weighing all of the relevant factors to determine what is in a child's best interest. An agreement between the parties is but one factor to consider in deciding if a change in the custodial arrangement is warranted. Eschbach v. Eschbach, 56 NY2d 167 (1982); Friederwitzer v. Friedwitzer, 55 NY2d 89 (1982); Matter of Nehra v. Uhlar, 43 NY2d 242 (1977).
The Mother contends that supervised visitation having been found necessary, the burden is on the Father to establish that it is no longer required. State ex rel. Barbara D. v. Francis D., 58 AD3d 436 (1st Dept. 2009). However, in this case, a court never made a finding after trial regarding the need for supervised visitation. In any event, the parties' Stipulation contemplated that a court would have the opportunity to consider whether the supervision agreed upon by the parties should continue. It is well settled that the determination of whether supervised visitation should continue is within the discretion of the trial court as it is in the best position to evaluate the credibility of the witnesses. Frank M., supra; Allen, supra; Cervera, supra.
Thus, in accordance with these legal concepts, the court conducted the trial in this case. Moreover, the focus of the court's attention at trial were what changes, if any, had occurred from 2006 to the present with respect to the Father and child's relationship. Custody is not in issue. The issues at trial are whether supervised visitation should continue and, if it is to continue, what level of supervision is required. Also under consideration is how much access time should the Father have with the child. Therefore, although it is important to know the history and reasons for the imposition or agreement to have supervised visits, the court's focus of attention necessarily is on whether significant changes have occurred that warrant modifying supervision.
The circumstances leading to the need for supervised visitation in 2003 and 2004, when the child was three and four years old, largely concerned the Father's failure to provide a safe environment for the child. It was never established (nor is there any proof now) that the Father engaged in either sexually or physically abusive conduct. Rather, the Father's failures concerned certain of his actions or inaction that placed the child in potentially harmful situations. The Father was easily distracted. For instance, while walking outside with the child, the Father was often on his blackberry or would frequently stop to talk to random people (on one occasion, it was reported that he spoke to a newspaper vendor for ten minutes while with the child), thus inattentive to the child's needs. He would cross the street with the child against the light. It was also alleged, although never clearly established, that the Father drove at excessive speeds. There was concern that the Father did not always put the child in a car seat.
In addition, the Father failed to provide a psychologically safe environment for the child. For instance, he excessively kissed and tickled the child. He would plan activities with the child and then not follow through on the plans they made. He jumped from one activity to another. He would take the child with him to do his own personal chores and then fail to follow through on the child-related plans he had made with his daughter. He took excessive photographs of the child. There was a frenetic quality to his access time with the child. In the First Report, the forensic evaluator concluded that he possessed minimal parenting skills, little knowledge of child development and exhibited faulty judgment. Many of these behaviors were observed by ________ herself or were reported by the professional supervisor, and other supervisors.
_______ found that the Father suffered from certain psychological issues. He was prone to panic attacks and depression, for which he received medication. In his interpersonal relations, he could be overly sensitive, rigid and hostile. He tended to hold grudges and was hypersensitive to rejections. He needed a great deal of reassurance.
Unfortunately, the Mother also suffered from psychological issues. In the First Report, her prior therapist described the Mother as very anxious and suspicious. Although she had been in treatment for ten years, her therapist did not believe the Mother was psychologically minded or self-reflective and did not achieve much internal change over the course of the treatment. The therapist believed that the Mother became anxious and angry when things went wrong in her life and might, at times, appear histrionic. _____________ confirmed this assessment in her own clinical observations. ____________ further noted that the Mother becomes physically ill when under stress and experienced some sleep problems for which she took Ambien.
The First Report also noted that in 2000-2001, the parties attended eight sessions of couple counseling. Their counselor found each party volatile and capable of being cruel to the other in sadistic and masochistic ways. They were each very provocative. The counselor found it impossible to assess the accusations and counter-accusations of violence.
The child also appeared to suffer from psychological issues that contributed to the visitation problems. At the time of the First Report, the child was only three years old, but already displayed certain anxious behaviors. ____________testified, "She is one of those children that is somewhat sensitive to any sort of physical intrusion on the part of an adult, whether it be a parent or another child." (6/11/08 Tr. p. 27) The Mother claimed that the child showed some signs of regressions in that although weaned, wanted a bottle again at nap time and had difficulty falling sleep after visits with her Father. The Mother attributed all of the child's issues to the Father. In the presence of a supervisor, the child appeared to enjoy spending time with the Father. Nonetheless there were concerns that the child was adopting techniques to deal with her discomfort during visits, leaving the impression that she was enjoying her time with her Father when, in fact, she was not.
With this historical context, it is appropriate to turn to consideration of the issue before the court. The question is whether developments since 2006 warrant ending the supervision of the Father's visits or require more intense supervision.
As a starting point, it is important to note that both parents love their child very much. The Mother appropriately cares for the child's day-to-day needs and the child is generally doing well in school. Notwithstanding the imposition of supervised visits, the Father has maintained regular access with his daughter. 2
At trial, the Father presented the testimony of eight supervisors, all of whom testified that the Father's present behavior with the child was appropriate and that he provided a safe environment. Some of the supervisors had observed the Father and child together over significant periods of time. Typically, these individuals were family members and friends. They were all educated and articulate witnesses. Although it might be argued that they were biased towards the Father, several readily acknowledged that earlier in their observations, they observed inappropriate behaviors by the Father. For instance, defendant's own father, testified that in 2006 the Father planned too many activities during visits and had to be told on occasion to put down his Blackberry. One of the Father's friends, testified that when her supervision began she observed the Father frequently on the phone and that he planned too many activities. The Father's brother testified that the Father was more focused in his visits than he had been earlier on. The Father's step-mother, who works for a domestic violence advocacy group and holds an MSW, testified that in 2006 the Father planned too many activities and had used his cell phone more frequently than in recent times.
Each of these supervisors testified that in 2007, the Father's behaviors during his access time notably changed. He cut down on the number of activities he planned with the child, he used his blackberry far less frequently and was more attuned to the child's needs. They all testified that he fed the child appropriate food during visits. He crossed the street safely with the child and used a car seat. Most important, they observed warm and affectionate behavior between the Father and child.
These observations were confirmed by the most recent supervisors, all unrelated to the Father. 3 The court heard the testimony of A.M., M.F. and C.M.. They are each college students, hired to serve as supervisors and vetted by the attorney for the child. None had a prior relationship with either of the parties. They each supervised the Father's visits in 2008. Ms. A.M. testified that although the child is reserved when she arrives for visits, after a few minutes she becomes relaxed. The child never appears anxious or sad when with the Father. The Father feeds the child appropriate food. The child appears to want to spend time with the Father. Ms. M.F. testified that the child appears happy to see her Father. Ms. C.M., who had worked as a supervisor the longest, testified that the Father and child engaged in appropriate activities. On one occasion, the Father, child, Father's girlfriend and Ms. C.M. went to the movies. The supervisor remained in the lobby area while the others went to watch the movies. During the movie, the Father brought the child out to the supervisor so that the child could use the restroom. The child then happily returned to the theater with the Father. Although this event may not have been in strict conformity with supervision requirements, the child appeared happy to the supervisor and showed no distress at being left alone with the Father and his girlfriend in the theater. At trial, the Mother raised concern about this event as a violation of the supervision rules, neither she nor her attorney brought this event to the court's attention at the time of its occurrence.
All of the supervisors indicated that in 2007 and 2008 the father did not excessively tickle or hug the child. The child appeared comfortable when the Father took photographs of her and that he did not take excessive pictures. The Father offered into evidence photographs he had taken of the child at various times and she appears happy in them (exs. E-T). Some of these photos depict instances where the Father and child are physically touching and, again, the child appears comfortable.
The Mother presented no evidence from any supervisor who contradicted these observations. The sole evidence she presented of third party observations of the Father's troubling behavior came from the child's pre-school Director and teacher. Their testimony of the Father's conduct at the pre-school, described above, is of concern. However, their reports to ACS were deemed unfounded. Moreover, they last observed the behaviors about which they testified in 2006. Thus, the value of this testimony is limited since the court deems it appropriate to focus on changes in the Father's behavior since 2006.
In preparing the Second Report,____________ conducted a home visit and an office visit with the Father and child. After the home visit, ________noted that the child appeared relatively comfortable with the Father and her paternal grandmother who visited during that time.__________ noted that both the Father and grandmother stroked the child's hair. However, ______________ went on to note, "(The Father) was fully engaged with his daughter without being overbearing. He often followed her lead, but also played with her in a collaborative manner. At times he directed the play and (the daughter) passively cooperated. (The Father) tempered his shows of affection and (the daughter) seemed comfortable with these gestures." (Second Report, p. 29).
__________ concluded that the Father had "(t)o a noticeable degree… become more aware of (the Child's) needs and her particular vulnerabilities." (Second Report, p. 46). The Father appears to understand the child's limitations caused by her anxieties. He is less intrusive of her personal space. ______________expressed some concern that the child reports that the Father and his relatives are more intrusive when a family member supervises visits_____________further noted, "It is difficult to assess how much (the Father) would be able to refrain from returning to past behaviors if the supervision was removed." (Second Report, p. 46). But her observations indicated that the Father showed marked improvement in his behaviors towards the daughter. 4
It is important to note that _____________Second Report was submitted November 27, 2007. The court heard testimony at trial of observations made by supervisors into the fall of 2008, one year after ______________ most recent observations. These supervisors reported continued improvement in the Father's behaviors, and continued apparent enjoyment by the child of the time she spends with her Father.
In sum, ________________ concluded that although the Father still engages in some inappropriate behavior, "he is more willing to acknowledge his mistakes and shortcomings. Though he still tends to gloss over problems, and to describe everything as 'great,' (he) is willing to reflect on his experiences." In addition, he is less hostile towards the Mother. Importantly, the Father continues therapy to address his various issues. (Second Report, p. 47). Furthermore, ____________ testified that she observed no dramatic example of coercive behavior on the Father's part toward the child and no overtly fearful behavior by the child when she is with the Father.
Equally important to this court is the more detailed psychological assessment_________was able to provide of the daughter. In the First Report,_____________ assessment focused primarily on the Father's inappropriate behaviors. At that time, the child was only three years old. However, what has now come more into focus is that the child suffers from her own psychological issues unrelated to any problems attributable to the Father.
In her Second Report___________again noted that the child is generally anxious and fearful. In the past, her "distress and anxious behavior reflected her fear of being overwhelmed and physically impinged upon by her father, and her understandable avoidance of her parents' hostile exchanges." These fears still continue. However, with the passage of time,___________found that the child's fears extend beyond her experiences with the Father and are a reflection of her own "temperamental traits and biological vulnerabilities." (Second Report, p. 35)___________testified that the child possibly qualifies as having a generalized anxiety disorder. Moreover, not only are her anxieties not solely the result of the Father's behaviors, but that the Mother's behaviors also contribute to the child's anxieties.
__________________ reported on various anxieties felt by the child unrelated to situations caused by the Father. For instance, the child is compulsive about locking her Mother's apartment door once inside and about being locked out of the Mother's apartment. This fear is the result of the Mother having locked them out of the apartment in 2005. The child is fearful of a dog who lives down the hall from the Mother's apartment as a result of having been knocked down by the dog when the child was not with the Father. Furthermore, the child continues to report experiencing the same problems she encountered with her Father violating her physical space from when she was younger even though a supervisor is present and does not confirm the child's claims that the Father intrudes on her space. Thus, having a supervisor does not keep the child from having the same preoccupations about her Father.
________________ also reported that the Mother's own psychological makeup has a negative impact on the child. As she previously reported, the Mother is extremely anxious and can become angry and agitated under extreme stress. Her anxiety may cause her to misinterpret the child's behavior. __________ reported that rather than interpreting the child's diminished protests against the Father as a sign that the child is increasingly comfortable with him, the Mother attributes the child's change as a maladaptive coping strategy or solely the result of having supervisors present. The Mother's own high level of anxiety may create an apprehensive attitude in the child. In subtle ways, the Mother's own sensitivity to boundary violations may have been communicated to the child resulting in her discomfort in the Father's show of affection. ______________testified that the Mother has conveyed to the daughter that it is unsafe for the child to be with the Father without supervisors, even though the Father's behavior has improved. Moreover, the Mother is unwilling to recognize that the child's anxiety may be the result of the Mother's own anxious behaviors.
Furthermore, the Mother attributes to the Father certain problems that she, herself, has played a hand in creating. For instance, she complains that the Father does not properly feed the child and does not impose a regular eating schedule when the child visits him. Yet ____________determined that the Mother does not require the child to eat at regular hours in her home. (Second Report, p. 13).
The Mother also testified to events that simply lacked credibility. She claimed that the Father had followed her and the child to ten or fifteen different synagogues she attended, causing the child to reject attending any synagogue. Yet during her meetings with ______________she claimed that the child's fear of attending synagogue was the result of the Father dragging her to many different synagogues early in her life. Moreover, she reported that in May 2008, just before the trial began, she saw the Father near the child's new school. Yet the Mother failed to report this behavior to the school or court and only mentioned it in her testimony almost a year after the alleged sighting. She further claimed that during the trial the child had for a period of several months wet her bed after visits with the Father, yet the Mother did not discuss this issue with the child's pediatrician. Interestingly, the Mother, a social worker, has not sought therapeutic intervention for herself during the past two years, notwithstanding the high levels of stress she sustained as a result of the ongoing litigation.
The child has been in therapy since September 2007. However, the choice of therapist and the course of treatment raise serious concerns. The therapist had been employed to conduct the evaluations for the two ACS reports. 5 In her evaluation after the second ACS complaint, the therapist concluded that the child was terrified of her Father and recommended that the Father have only one hour of supervised visits a week until the child was no longer a minor or the child chose to alter the visitation. In the alternative, whether to have visitation at all should be left entirely up to the child. After submission of this evaluation, the Mother chose the same psychologist to serve as the child's therapist 6 . ______________ testified that under these circumstances, it is unusual for the evaluating psychologist to become the treating therapist. Moreover, _______________ expressed concern that the therapist's extreme recommendation to severely limit the Father's visitation was inappropriate since it was based on limited information in a high conflict divorce case.
The child's therapist has taken the position that neither parent should be involved in the child's course of treatment. The therapist concluded that the child's fear of being invaded was so great that the only way the therapist could provide a safe environment was to exclude both parents "for the near future." (Second Report, p. 45). However, the therapist, in fact, met with the Mother on at least two occasions (and may have met with her more frequently since the Mother brought the child to the sessions), but had not met with the Father at all in two years. 7 Moreover, as_____________ noted, by failing to meet with the Father and involving him in the therapeutic process, the therapist had no basis to discern whether the child's anxieties regarding the Father were reality based.
Of perhaps greater concern as indicated by_____________ is the need for the child to have a course of treatment including a cognitive-behavioral component to immediately provide her with coping mechanisms to address her anxiety. This treatment could parallel the psychodynamic treatment she presently receives. It is troubling that the Mother, notwithstanding this recommendation in the Second Report, testified over a year later that she hadn't yet even investigated such a course of treatment, even though it might help alleviate some of the child's anxieties. The Mother's failure in this regard is consistent with _____________ conclusion that the Mother tends to accommodate the child's anxieties rather than to help her find mechanisms to tolerate some level of anxiety.
According to________________ supervision of the Father's visits has good and bad points. On the one hand, supervision perpetuates the child's fear of the Father. On the other hand, the child seeks to avoid contact with the Father without supervision. There is also concern that the Father may revert to prior bad behaviors without a supervisor present. The court further notes the logistical problems and cost of supervised visitation. There have been times that the Father has canceled visits, sometimes at the last minute, because a supervisor is unavailable. Clearly, this anxiety-driven child would benefit from a regular visitation schedule. The Mother believes that the Father's failure to exercise visits has been due to his inability to maintain a schedule for the child's benefit. However, the court finds that there have often been times that supervisors have simply been unavailable. Partly this has been due to the child or Mother's rejection of family members or friends as supervisors. Partly this has been due to scheduling difficulties, particularly around school holidays when the college student supervisors are often unavailable. There are also real cost factors in having paid supervisors. The court has no basis to conclude from the evidence presented that without the logistical problems necessitated by having supervisors, the Father would not fully exercise all access time with his child.
From all of the evidence, the court reaches the following conclusions. First, the Father's behaviors have improved significantly since the need for supervised visits first arose. None of the Father's present behaviors suggest the need for any kind of supervision. There is no evidence from supervisors that the Father behaves in an inappropriate manner. Had the Father behaved in 2006 as he now behaves, supervised visitation would not have been warranted. Thus, the court finds that pursuant to the parties' own Stipulation, supervised visitation, professional or otherwise, is no longer necessary as a result of the Father's behavior. Although there is a concern that the Father might revert to prior bad behaviors without supervision, that alone would not be a basis to continue supervision. Rather, the concern suggests that a period of monitoring his access time might be appropriate.
The fact that the Father's behavior has improved, however, does not end the inquiry. Clearly, the daughter still feels the need for a supervisor, even if her fears are not reality based. Her fears stem partly from her memories of the Father's actual behavior in the past, her own anxieties unrelated to the reality of the Father's behavior now, and the overlay of anxiety imposed on her by the Mother. In this regard, the Mother's inexplicable failure to seek a course of therapeutic treatment for the child that would likely alleviate some of her distress is particularly noteworthy. At the same time, the court notes that the child is now eight years of age. Her increased maturity and ability to voice her objections to her Father if his behavior makes it necessary to do so are factors the court must also consider.
For these reasons, although the court finds that supervised visitation based solely on the Father's behavior is unwarranted, it would not be in the child's best interest to begin unsupervised access without therapeutic intervention. The court has considered the proposed Orders of visitation submitted by the parties. The court finds that the Father's proposed order is more in line with the direction that the access schedule should ultimately take. It is noteworthy that the Father himself recognizes the needs to ease into unsupervised visitation for the well-being of the child. However, the court is convinced that a period of therapeutic monitoring is necessary as well.
Accordingly, the court shall require the appointment of an intervention therapist to immediately begin the process of ending supervised visitation (the "intervention therapist"). Towards this end, the intervention therapist will assist the parties in immediately finding a therapist who will engage in a short-term cognitive-behavioral course of therapeutic treatment to provide the child with better coping skills in addressing her anxieties.
The court has grave concerns as to whether the child's present therapist can assist in the process of ending supervised visits given the therapist's stark assessment of the Father. However, the court is also aware that the child is attached to her therapist and that the child has made some progress in addressing her anxieties with her present therapist. Accordingly, the intervention therapist shall confer with the child's treating therapist. If that therapist is willing to participate in moving to the immediate end of supervised visits, she may continue as the child's treating therapist. If the therapist cannot do so, the intervention therapist shall work with the parents to continue the child's treatment with a different therapist.
Both parents must also participate in therapy directed to parenting issues. The Father's present therapist may serve in this capacity. The Mother shall retain her own therapist for this purpose. 8 The parents must authorize their own therapists and the child's therapists to confer with the intervention therapist.
Each parent shall be responsible for the costs of his or her own therapist. They will each pay 50 percent of the cost of the intervention therapist. The costs for the child's therapies shall continue to be borne in the manner in which those costs have been paid thus far. Should the Father fail to participate in these mandated processes, supervised visitation will continue. Should the Mother fail to participate in these mandated processes, the court will award all mental health treatment decisions for the daughter to the Father.
The parties will appear in Part 31 on July 20, 2009 to participate in the process of determining who should be the intervention therapist. The parties will then appear in court on September 15, 2009 for a report from the intervention therapist on when unsupervised visitation can begin if it has not already commenced by that date. The court expects unsupervised visitation, in some form, to commence no later than the fall of 2009.
This opinion is the Decision and Order of the court.
1. Ultimately, the school filed an abuse complaint with the Administration for Children's Services ("ACS"). ACSconducted an investigation and deemed the complaint unfounded.
2. As will be discussed below, there have been times when visitation has not occurred, but the Father maintains regular contact with his daughter.
3. Frequently the family supervisors were unable to continue because the Mother claimed that the child rejected the supervisor. In some instances, the rejection occurred after that supervisor testified on behalf of the Father at trial.
4. The Mother raised concerns at trial that the Father is on medication to address some of his psychological issues and may suffer from ADD. She believes these factors should require continuation of supervised visitation. Dr. Kuchuk did not conclude that either of these facts required continued supervision of the Father's parenting time.
5. ACS chose this therapist to prepare an evaluation for the first complaint. ACS asked the Mother to chose the therapist to conduct the evaluation for the second complaint The Mother chose the same therapist.
6. Pursuant to the Stipulation, the parties enjoy joint decision-making authority. The evidence is unclear whether the Mother sought the Father's input with respect to the choice of this therapist.
7. A meeting between the Father and therapist ultimately occurred at the court's insistence.
8. The court does not believe it should dictate to the Mother that she should be in therapy to address all of her issues; that is a choice she must make. However, since supervised visitation is guided by the court, a course of treatment to address parenting issues is appropriately ordered.