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If your ex won’t pay child support, can you withhold visitation?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Child Custody Plans

Child support is sometimes ordered during a divorce, and it’s a way of ensuring that both parents can cover some of the cost of raising the child. For instance, perhaps the child will live with you most of the time, but your ex earns more money – due to their busy work schedule – and will just see the child on the weekends. Because of the difference in income and the additional costs that you will absorb by having primary custody, your ex may be ordered to pay child support.

Unfortunately, what some co-parents find is that their ex refuses to pay support or consistently fails to do so. If this happens to you, you may be looking for ways to get them to pay. People sometimes consider withholding visitation, assuming that this will pressure the other parent to make the proper payments. But is this something that you should do?

You cannot violate the court order

No, you should not withhold visitation. If it has been ordered by the court, it must be honored. Remember that it’s not just a right that your ex has. It’s also a right that your child has to see the other parent. You cannot take that away from them and violate the court order, or you could put your own custody rights in jeopardy.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything or that you don’t deserve those child support payments. You just need to look into other methods to enforce the order, such as wage garnishment or approaching the court to get them to enforce the order. Do not try to do so on your own. 

Naturally, if you find yourself in this position, things can get very complex, very quickly. Take the time to look into all of your legal options.