If you’ve ever been frustrated with your ex about missed child support payments, you may have considered withholding visitation until the payments are up to date. While these feelings are understandable, it’s important to be aware of California laws before making any rash decisions.
If you’ve made several attempts to come to a child support agreement with your ex, you may think that prohibiting your ex from seeing the children the two of you have together would force them to start paying. However, withholding visitation could hurt your standing with the judge handling your child custody case.
How are child support and visitation related?
Child support and visitation are two separate legal issues. A parent can’t lose the right to see and bond with their child by failing to pay child support.
Consider the fact that your child has the right to visitation. Every child deserves the right to develop a healthy relationship with both of their parents. Studies indicate that children have higher self-esteem when they have a balanced custody arrangement. If the non-custodial parent is not able to pay child support, it is not fair to “punish” the child by restricting the child’s access to the non-custodial parent.
Parental and financial support
Each parent should be responsible for a child’s financial well-being. This means that both parents have to meet the financial needs of children, even if the non-custodial parent decides not to have a relationship with their children. Even if a non-custodial parent does not see their children regularly, the parent is still required to pay child support to avoid legal ramifications.