Custody and visitation go hand-in-hand because if one parent has physical custody, the time that the child spends with the other parent is called visitation. Most people are comfortable with how these work together.
Most people are also comfortable with the idea that the parent who has physical custody of the child can receive child support from the other parent.
Sometimes the visiting parent, who is also ordered to pay child support, may not be making those child support payments on time. That is a problem all by itself and it can be handled through the courts.
But making or not making child support payments is only one factor to be considered when determining visitation. Not making child support payments alone should not keep a parent from having visitation with his or her child.
The bottom line is that if the court has allowed visitation with the child, the custodial parent cannot deny visitation just because the visiting parent is not current in his or her child support payments.
So, what do you do if you are reading this and you are in the position where you are behind in your child support payments and your child’s custodial parent won’t let you see your children? The specific action will depend on what court orders are already in place concerning custody, visitation and support.
If you don’t have copies of the orders, you can go to the clerk’s office and request copies. (this is also a good place to mention that these orders are very important and you should keep copies in a safe place so you have access to them when needed).
My suggestion is to then take those orders with you when you consult with an attorney. That attorney will be able to read the orders, listen to your story, and give you a plan of how to go about trying to get what you want based on the laws that pertain to your situation.
From a very personal standpoint, I find it very sad when a father wants to see his children, but he doesn’t even try because he is behind in child support. It is sad for the father, it is sad for the grandparents and other family members, but most of all, it is sad for the child.
If you have any questions about this or any other legal subject, please feel free to give us a call at 757-234-4650 or visit our website at http://www.BeaversLaw.com.