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I’m behind in child support. Can my ex withhold visitation?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2023 | Family Law

You are a great parent to your child. You love them more than anything else, regardless of the frosty relationship between you and the other parent.

However, you’ve recently gone through hard times and fallen behind in your child support payments. As a result, your ex has made it clear that you are not going to see your child as long as you are behind in child support. But is this legal?

Child support and child visitation are two separate judgments

Child support is the amount of money the court directs the non-custodial parent to pay the custodial parent towards the child’s upkeep. The court takes into account a number of factors, such as the parent’s earnings as well as the child’s needs, when determining this amount.

Child custody, on the other hand, establishes how both parents will care for the child. It outlines each party’s rights and responsibilities following the divorce.

It is important to understand that each judgment is independent, and both parties are bound by them. In other words, you cannot lose your custody rights on the basis of your inability to pay child support.

So what happens if your ex isn’t letting you see your child?

Withholding visitation for any reason, including child support arrears, amounts to a violation of a court order. For this reason, you can petition the court to take action against the parent in question. And based on the circumstances of your case, your ex’s actions can prompt custody modification.

What if you can’t pay child support?

Financial hardship can strike at any moment. Perhaps you’ve lost your job or are dealing with a medical situation that is straining your finances. Whatever the situation, you can petition the court to modify the existing child support order.