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Why you shouldn’t withhold child support for denied parental time

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Child Custody

In the emotionally charged realm of co-parenting, disputes over parenting time rights and child support can escalate quickly, leaving both parties feeling frustrated and powerless.

When one parent withholds access to the children, it can be tempting for the other parent to consider withholding child support payments as a form of retaliation. However, this course of action is not only legally risky but can also have significant negative consequences for both the parent and the children involved.

Violation of court orders

Child support orders are legally binding agreements issued by the court to help ensure the children’s financial well-being. Failure to comply with these orders, regardless of the other parent’s actions, can result in serious legal consequences. Courts take non-payment of child support very seriously and have various enforcement mechanisms at their disposal to help ensure compliance.

Contempt of court charges

If a parent stops paying child support in retaliation for denied parenting time, they could be held in contempt of court. Contempt of court charges can lead to fines, wage garnishment and suspension of driver’s licenses. It’s essential to understand that court orders must be followed, and disagreements regarding parenting time should be addressed through legal channels rather than withholding financial support.

Impact on custody and visitation rights

A parent who stops paying child support may unintentionally jeopardize their custody and parenting time rights. When deciding custody and parental time arrangements, family courts consider the child’s best interests. Willfully withholding financial support can be viewed as acting against the child’s best interests and may result in reduced parenting time or even loss of custody rights.

While it can be incredibly frustrating to have visitation rights denied by a co-parent, stopping child support payments as a form of retaliation is not the solution. Not only does it carry significant legal risks, but it also undermines the well-being of the children involved. Instead, parents should seek legal remedies and always act in the best interests of their children.