Can You Stop Paying Child Support If The Custodial Parent Prevents Visitation?
When two parents decide to split, one of the most complicated issues they will have to handle is child support. If you are the non-custodial parent and paying child support, you most likely have the expectation of seeing your child as agreed. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you cannot see your child and are paying child support, here is what you need to know.
Can You Stop Paying?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make if you are responsible for paying child support is to stop paying it. Even if the custodial parent is preventing you from seeing the child, it is imperative that you continue to make payments.
By making the payments, you show the court that you are committed to taking care of your child regardless of the situation. If you plan to file for custody of the child, this could help your case. You also should continue to make payments because it is court-ordered. Failing to follow through with the court order could result in consequences for you, including the possibility of jail.
The best possible reason for paying child support is that since you are being kept from your child, it could be the only way you can prove to him or her during this separation that you were still parenting. This could make a big difference in your relationship with him or her.
What Can You Do?
The first thing you should consider doing is contacting the custodial parent and expressing your concerns. In a calm manner, remind the parent that you do have a custody and visitation agreement that is court-ordered. Just as you have to honor the child support, he or she has to order the visitation agreement.
If the problem persists, you can file a motion with the court requesting that the judge intervene. The judge can order that the custodial parent follow the previously ordered agreement and outline the consequences if he or she does not.
Depending on the state in which you live, you can possibly request that the court suspend your payments until you are permitted to see the child. Again, do not stop the payments yourself. By going through the courts to do it, you can ensure that you do not get into legal hot water.
A family law attorney (go to websites like this one for more info) who specializes in child support cases can help you determine what actions your state's laws allow and help you take action. Contact an attorney as soon as it is apparent the problem is not going to be resolved by talking to the other parent.