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What’s the relationship between child support and visitation?

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2022 | Family Law |

Your ex wasn’t exactly a great spouse, and they’re not turning out to be the world’s best co-parent, either.

Sure, they’re fantastic at showing up with armloads of presents for the kids, and they seem to enjoy being the “fun” parent, but they’re short on responsibility – and that includes paying their child support on time.

You’ve tried talking to them, but it’s gotten you nowhere (and no money). Can you stop their visitation until they start acting like an adult and pay up?

Child support and visitation are two separate issues

As frustrating as the situation may be, access to the children through visitation is not “pay to play.” Child support payments are considered an entirely separate concern from any custody or visitation rights. If you withhold access to your children due to the nonpayment of support, you’ll be the one in trouble with the court.

Instead, there are a number of ways to have the child support order enforced. These include:

  •     Income execution (IEX): Your co-parent’s income can be garnished for both current and overdue support.
  •     Unemployment insurance benefits (UIB) intercept: If your co-parent is currently unemployed, the support can be automatically deducted from any benefits they receive.
  •     Income tax refund intercept: If your co-parent is behind on their support, both their federal and state tax returns can be diverted to pay the delinquency.
  •     Liens on real estate and personal property: If your ex owns a home, a business, a vehicle or a boat, liens can be placed on their property to try to force them to pay up.

These are only some of the options that are available. If the court steps in, they can apply a great deal of pressure on a reluctant parent to get them to pay up.

When you’re having trouble with a co-parent, don’t try to go the “self-help” route, since that can backfire. Find out more about your legal options instead.