Child Support Law
Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Don't Get to See My Children?
You may consider getting back at your ex for blocking your visitation rights by refusing to pay your child support payments. But it won’t help you in the long run. Violating the terms of your child support order to get back at your ex for keeping you from your kids may work against you in court.
Just as the courts expect your ex to allow you visitation rights with your children, you must provide timely financial support. You would be in contempt of court if you refused to pay your court-ordered amount of child support, possibly ending up facing jail time.
The only exception to this rule – which is rare – is when the parent with physical custody of the children disappears with them for an extended period.
By disappearing with your children, your ex would actively be preventing you from having any contact with your children. Some courts have held that a parent’s child support obligation should stop, at least temporarily, until the parent and children are located.
When the paying parent refuses to meet their court-ordered financial responsibility for their children, the custodial parent has the right to seek legal assistance. You may find yourself facing any of the following penalties in these instances:
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Wage garnishment, which means child support payments could be legally deducted from your paychecks
- Deduction from your federal tax refund
- Seizure of funds from your bank account
The case against your ex for depriving you of visitation with your children will be the focus if you aren’t also facing a claim of unpaid child support.
The recommended remedy for visitation issues is to turn to the court for assistance, not to stop paying child support. You can be held accountable or punished by the court for failing to pay your court-ordered child support amount, and your ex can be held responsible for interfering in your parenting time.
If you are having trouble with your ex over visitation, your best bet is to seek advice from a child support attorney who can advise you what steps to take next.
In some cases, you might be able to work out visitation problems informally with your ex. You also may find that you need more formal assistance when your legal rights as a parent are being withheld.
Your lawyer might be able to assist you by taking any of the following steps:
- Contacting your ex to come to a resolution
- Contacting your ex’s attorney to come to a resolution
- Representing you in court to enforce or modify your court-ordered visitation time
Blocked child visitation may be one of the most common reasons given for refusal to pay child support. The best course of action to take, in the eyes of the court, however, is putting the best interests of your children first.
Child support payments and child visitation are two separate issues. Retaliation by withholding support may work against you. Get the guidance of an experienced attorney to help you assert your position more effectively.