Custodial parents dealing with non-custodial exes who fail to pay child support find it difficult not to say, “You shouldn’t see the kids if you can’t pay.”
Seeking the best interests of the kids (plus leftover emotions from the divorce) creates the link between child support and visitation. It’s only natural for some custodial parents to want to keep away the kids when the ex fails to pay.
But that shouldn’t be the case.
Shaynelaw.com, a family law firm, states that parents who fail to follow court orders concerning parenting (e.g. regular visits and holiday parenting time) might pay for attorney’s fees or, in some circumstances, lose their custody rights. But there’s nothing about non-custodial parents failing to pay and losing the visitation rights.
It’s important to understand that child custody and visitation are different issues.
No Laws on Visitation
There are numerous laws that require following visitation plans, but most do not require non-custodial parents to spend longer time with the kids.
The law ensures non-custodial parents financially support the kids; this, however, does not heavily enforce parents spending time with the children. They can cancel, reschedule, or not show up to events, but they are still free to visit the kids.
Separating child support and visitation guarantees that non-custodial parents can still redeem themselves. Taking away visitation rights just because they don’t pay will only damage their relationship with the kids.
Strict Laws on Child Support
There’s a reason why the courts enforce stricter laws on child support. In case the father is the non-custodial parent, some feel that fathers should provide financial support until the children reach the age of maturity.
It’s difficult to trust the law and Child Support Enforcement officers, but you have to rely on them to get the job done. The court system will enforce child support schedules; if the non-custodial parent fails to pay, they might face jail time.
If the non-custodial parent refuses to pay child support, seek legal help, but don’t keep away the kids. Let the law decide.
It’s difficult to accept these facts, but as a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure the kids are all right despite the divorce. Do not use money as a tool against the non-custodial parent; instead, focus on ensuring the kids know both their parents love them.