Common Ground Supervised Access Program




Holding Hands

Common Ground Supervised Access Program

(417) 234-6847




Common Ground is the supervised visitation program overseen by the Domestic Relations Unit of the Greene County Family Court. Families may be referred to Common Ground if they are experiencing intense conflict as a result of allegations of child abuse, child neglect, domestic violence, drug use, or criminal activity - all of which prevent the parties from reaching an agreement regarding custody or visitation of their child(ren). Common Ground visits can also provide an opportunity for a child to be introduced or re-introduced to their non-residential parent before moving to unsupervised contact.

The purpose of Common Ground is to provide a safe setting for non-residential parents and their children to establish, maintain, and enhance healthy relationships. The underlying philosophy of Common Ground is that children have a need and a right to healthy relationships with both parents.

Nearly all participants of Common Ground are there by court order.



Parents and Kids


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a supervised visit?
How much does Common Ground cost?
When are visits?
How long does Common Ground last?
What if I want to use Common Ground but my co-parent doesn't?
How do we get started?
Is Common Ground safe?

What is a supervised visit?
Supervised Visits are scheduled for a non-residential parent and child(ren) so they may visit with each other in a setting that is closely monitored by a trained observer in a safe and neutral environment for both parent and child(ren).

How much does Common Ground cost?
Visits are $20 per family for a one-hour visit. Typically the cost is split between the parties ($10 each per week), however, the Court may order that one party be responsible for the entire weekly fee.

When are visits?
All visits occur on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between the hours of 5PM an 8PM. Attempts are made to accommodate individual schedules, but ultimately parties are expected to attend at available times.

How long does Common Ground last?
When a Family Court Commissioner signs an Order for Common Ground, the Order is effective for 120 days after the first visit or exchange occurs. Common Ground may be terminated earlier than 120 days or extended for a longer period of time, at the discretion of the Judge.

What if I want to use Common Ground but my co-parent doesn't?
If you have a current pending court case, you will participate in Common Ground via court order.
If Common Ground has been ordered by the court and one or both parents are not cooperating/participating, the court will be informed. Any attorney involved in the case would also be informed.

Without a pending court case and court order, both parents must sign and agree to the guidelines of the Common Ground program.

How do we get started?
If you are represented by an attorney and are interested in participating, you should discuss this with your attorney who can request that Common Ground be ordered by the Court. Pro Se litigants may also request that Common Ground be ordered by the court.

After Common Ground is ordered by the Court, each participant is required to contact a Common Ground Coordinator to schedule their own intake appointment. During the intake, Common Ground guidelines and procedures will be addressed. After both parties have completed an intake, the visit day and time will be assigned. The visits will be one hour each week.

If you desire to participate in Common Ground but do not have a pending court case or a Common Ground court order, please contact a Common Ground Coordinator. Without a pending court case and court order, both parents must sign and agree to the guidelines of the Common Ground program. These cases are treated just like the court ordered cases and are a small minority of the cases that are served through Common Ground.

Is Common Ground safe?
Common Ground is a safe environment. Residential parents and non-residential parents have staggered arrival and departure times and separate entrances to the facility so they will not have to see one another. Law enforcement is on-site at all times. Trained monitors are in all visits, ensuring that participants follow the Common Ground guidelines and that the visit proceeds at the pace and comfort level of the child(ren).