Can I Withhold Visitation if My Ex Doesn’t Pay Child Support?
I understand the frustrations that people have when they come to see me about the fact that they have gone to court, they have settled their divorce, they have settled the custody and child support payments, but their ex-spouse is refusing to pay the court ordered child support payment. In some cases, maybe the spouse isn’t refusing to pay, but they’re paying late or the spouse is paying partial payments. Whatever the reason, it is a frustrating situation for the spouse expecting that payment.
However, what I do tell my clients, and perspective clients is, that it is never a good idea to withhold your child from his parent, due to not receiving child support payments. The courts look at child support and visitation as two separate and distinct things. The child has a right to spend time with both parents and by you denying that right, you will be found in contempt of court and you can have negative consequences issued against you. Additionally, your spouse can petition the court for more time with the child because you are withholding his or her child from them. And so this can be detrimental to you.
There are legal remedies that you can take to address the situation with your ex-spouse and make sure he or she is compliant with the court ordered payments. The best approach is to either take your ex-spouse back to court, or open up a case with the district attorney’s office and they will follow up with your ex-spouse in regards to their violation of the court order and refusing to pay the child support. Your ex can be found in contempt and they can have their wages garnished, they can have liens on their property, their driver’s license can be revoked, their passport can be denied.
Just remember, don’t withhold your child from your ex because you are not receiving the court ordered child support payments because it can have negative consequences for you and for your child.
If you would like to discuss your specific situation further with a knowledgeable Family Law Attorney, contact our office to schedule a meeting. You can reach our office at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may schedule a call or in-person meeting via our online appointment scheduler.