CAN TEXAS CHILD VISITATION BE DENIED BECAUSE CHILD SUPPORT IS UNPAID?
TEXAS Family Code 154.011: SUPPORT NOT CONDITIONED ON POSSESSION OR ACCESS:
A COURT MAY NOT RENDER AN ORDER THAT CONDITIONS THE PAYMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT ON WHETHER A MANAGING CONSERVATOR ALLOWS A POSSESSORY CONSERVATOR TO HAVE POSSESSION OF OR ACCESS TO A CHILD.
A Custodial Parent cannot refuse or cut back on visitation of a non-custodial parent just because child support has not been paid. Many custodial parents use denial of visitation as an effective way of getting child support paid. Such conduct is against the law and punishable by contempt.
A child has an absolute right to visitation and child support. Absent compelling reasons, visitation with both parents is always considered in the best interest of the child. Non-payment of child support should be dealt with and enforced in a proper court.
The non-custodial parent is still very important to the child’s life and must be allowed to participate in her/his life. Conversely, a non-custodial parent cannot stop paying child support just because a custodial parent is denying visitation.
Unpaid Child Support and Visitation with a child are two separate and distinct duties indigent of one another. The non-custodial parent cannot be denied visitation for unpaid child support.