OWING CHILD SUPPORT DOES NOT EQUAL DENIAL OF VISITATION
You might be a stellar parent when it comes to paying child support. Perhaps you put that check in the mail every month a week before it’s due, just to ensure your children are taken care of. You might be thinking that you should have the right to see your children more often because of how great you are at paying support, but unfortunately that’s not necessarily the case. Child support and visitation really don’t have anything to do with each other.
If you think you can just withhold support until your ex-spouse decides to allow you more visitation, you are considering violating the law. In many cases similar to this, the parent who withholds support actually ends up losing time with the children and could also be required to pay back what was missed, and then some. You don’t want to create a situation in which you’ll have less time with your kids, so keep being patient, pay your support, and it will all work out in the end.
If you feel you deserve more time with your children, you can always file a petition with the court to modify the custody agreement. You can ask for joint custody, more days of visitation, or a variety of other arrangements that could give you more time with your kids.
If you are the custodial parent and choose to withhold visitation time because your ex-spouse is behind on support, this is also against the law. Again, there’s no correlation between the two. It’s your child’s right to experience visitation, and it’s your spouse’s responsibility to pay support. Nowhere in the law does it state or imply it’s your decision to punish your ex-spouse by withholding your child from him or her.
What You Can Do
If you feel child support and visitation are not going quite right, you do have some options. First, you can petition the court to modify your child custody and child support arrangements. If your ex-spouse is behind on payments, you could ask to have his or her wages garnished so you have the support you need for your child. If you feel you need more time with your child because you are currently on support, you can petition for a change in custody.