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Can Visitation Be Denied If Child Support Isn’t Coming In?


Your divorce is finally behind you, but the drama sure isn’t!  Despite all the wrangling over who-gets-what and the emotionally exhausting negotiations you went through as you developed a custody and visitation plan and came to an agreement as to child support payments, now that the divorce is final it’s been a long time since you’ve seen hide nor hair of a child support check.  Given that fact, why should you allow your ex the promised visitation that’s outlined in the parenting plan?

First Things First 

At this juncture it cannot be understated:  child support non-payment has absolutely nothing to do with your obligation to provide visitation to your child’s other parent.  That’s right: whether or not you are receiving those checks on schedule, behind schedule, or at all, has no bearing on the legal requirement—not to mention the moral duty—to allow your child to spend time with the other parent.

To be clear, visitation, like child support, exists as a piece of your parenting plan that is independent of other parts of the divorce agreement. As the custodial parent, you are obliged to comply with the parenting plan regardless of the status of the child support payments.

What Now? 

Is it frustrating to have to live on a shoestring budget because you can’t get a dime out of your ex?  No doubt—especially since you still must allow any visitation outlined in your parenting agreement.  And like it or not, in most cases it does make sense to give kids the opportunity to build healthy relationships with both parents. The visitation agreed to during your parenting plan development was sanctioned by the court as being in the best interest of the kids. And that is certainly your focus now, right? Without question, financial resources allow you the opportunity to provide them with things that they need, and that, every bit as much as visitation, is in their best interest. So what recourse do you have on the child support arrears issue?  There are several options to collect that support:

  • Wages can be garnished;
  • Tax returns can be withheld;
  • Assets, including bank accounts, can be seized;
  • Passports can be denied;
  • A lien can be taken out against property;
  • Professional licenses can be revoked;
  • Driver’s license and any recreational licenses can be revoked.

Addressing Your Post-Divorce Issues 

At The Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes our experienced Baltimore family attorneys are prepared to handle the challenges you may face before, during and after divorce.  If that means figuring out a way to get your ex to cough up the financial support the court has ordered and your children deserve, we will go to bat for you. Schedule a confidential consultation at our Baltimore office today.

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