Does child support give visitation rights?
Child support is not required to secure visitation rights. If your ex is refusing to let you see the kids until you pay, they are on the wrong side of the law. They also aren’t doing what is best for your children. You don’t have to pay to see your children, but you should pay if the court has ordered it because your kids deserve support.
Visitation may not be automatic if you’re paying child support, but the amount of child support you are paying can be affected by visitation. A custodial parent has the right to seek court-ordered child support for both an active and absentee parent. The party seeking visitation may see a reduction in their child support obligation by increasing visitation time. You can visit this website if you’d like to learn more about how visitation time impacts child support and custody disputes.
Paying child support does not guarantee visitation time
The act of paying child support, whether court ordered or voluntarily, does not guarantee a non-custodial parent visitation. If parties are at odds about a fair visitation schedule, the matter can be mediated and settled in family court. Reasonable requests for visitation are typically granted as long as the party requesting time meets the criteria of the custodial parent or the court.
Visitation can be denied or revoked
There are situations in which a parent can be denied visitation. If for some reason the parent is deemed unfit or visitation poses a specific risk to the child, the chances of denial are much higher. The most common reasons for revoked visitation are:
- a history of drug or alcohol abuse
- a record of physical abuse or child endangerment
- a history of child neglect or sexual abuse/misconduct
If you want visitation and any of the above applies to you, the best chance you’ve got is to seek treatment and keep all of the documentation related to your efforts.
Child support may be ordered in lieu of visitation
When a non-custodial parent fails to adhere to the terms of a prior visitation agreement, the custodial parent may request that the court alternatively order child support payments. In the event that a non-custodial parent refuses visitation completely, a child support order helps to ensure that the custodial parent isn’t burdened by taking complete financial responsibility for the child(ren). In extreme cases, parental rights may even be revoked or forfeited.
Joint physical custody may be an alternative to child support and visitation
Joint physical custody may be beneficial in cases where both parties are willing and capable of providing financial and custodial care for the child(ren). This type of arrangement does not necessarily mean that responsibilities will be divided equally. It simply means that the custodial arrangement adequately benefits both parties as well as the dependents. Once established in court, custodial orders can be enforced if one party fails to assume their share of responsibility.
Child support may adversely impact visitation time
Child support usually refers to a non-custodial parent’s financial obligation to provide care for a child or multiple children. Child support may affect a parent’s ability to schedule visitation with the child(ren) if:
- they have to adjust working hours or obtain secondary employment to fulfill support obligations
- they are unemployed or disabled and thus unable to fulfill their financial obligation
- they are incarcerated for failure to pay back child support
When outlining an agreement, remember that child support is not a legally enforceable condition of visitation and should not be weaponized in order to manipulate or impede a non-custodial parent’s access to their child(ren).
A great deal of consideration goes into drafting a plan for visitation or child support that is mutually congenial. It may be difficult to come to a rational agreement because these issues tend to be stressful and emotionally triggering. However, all decisions should be made for the benefit and overall well-being of the child(ren).