My Ex Won’t Let Me See My Kids, Do I Still Have To Pay Child Support?
Paying Child Support But Not Seeing The Child: What Should I Do?
When parents split custody of a child, one parent is often ordered to make child support payments. When the relationship between the parents is less than civil, it may seem like they can both weaponize custody and child support as a means to hurt each other. It is often unwise to fight fire with fire in these situations. Child support and child custody aren’t as intertwined as you might think. If your ex is denying your parenting time with your child, withholding child support could cause you more problems than it will solve. For additional questions regarding child support and custody issues, contact our office for your free consultation with your Arizona Lawyer for Custody, Divorce, and all Family Law matters.
How Can The Parents Violate a Custody Agreement?
There are several ways your ex can violate a custody agreement. Your ex could make a habit out of showing up late to pick-ups and drop-offs. Your child’s other parent could interfere with your ability to communicate with your child during their parenting time. They could also speak negatively about you to your child, effectively alienating you from each other. If you have joint legal decision-making, your spouse could violate custody orders by making an important decision for your child without your input. Most custody orders require that the parents obtain permission from the other parent or the judge for the case before traveling out of state or out of country with the child. There are several other ways your ex can violate custody orders, depending on the specific terms of your plan.
What Steps Can Be Taken If The Child’s Other Parent Violates Our Custody Orders?
In non-emergency situations, one parent may simply document custody violations, or voice their displeasure with the other parent’s violation. If the non-violating parent is represented by an Arizona family law attorney, the attorney should be updated on all violations and send a letter or email to the other parent’s counsel. The police may need to be involved for more serious custody infractions. The next person to be involved should be the family law judge for the case.
A parent who is found to be in violation of custody orders could be penalized with monetary fines. For more extreme cases, the judge may find that parent in contempt of court. In addition to the embarrassing mark on their legal record, this can come with penalties as serious as jail time. Having clear and careful documentation available to prove your side of the situation will be useful here. You may need to testify in court about your ex’s repeated noncompliance with the current custody orders. The judge may also find it appropriate to modify the current orders if the other parent is unable to abide by them. If so, you could be awarded extra parenting time to make up for the time missed due to the other parent’s violations. Your AZ child custody attorney will help you prepare for any hearings that arise due to your ex’s failure to obey custody orders. They may even be ordered to pay your legal fees for your inconvenience.
Can One Parent Refuse The Other Parent’s Visitation With The Child?
Generally, refusing to let one parent see their child is an unacceptable way to resolve custody issues. Even if one parent has fallen significantly behind on child support payments, the parenting plan must be followed. There are other ways to pursue collection of back child support. The only time it is appropriate to refuse to let the other parent see the child is if the child is in immediate danger. Physical violence, sexual abuse, and other damaging parental conduct constitute an immediate danger. You should inform law enforcement if you intend to withhold visitation for fear of the child’s safety. A police report will be a piece of evidence used in the emergency hearing to determine if the other parent is a danger to your child.
Do I Have To Pay Child Support If My Ex Is Refusing Visitation?
It is true that the amount of time you spend with your child affects how much child support you may potentially be ordered to pay. However, not spending time with your child doesn’t excuse you from your obligation to financially support your child. Failure to pay child support can result in interest fees and strict enforcement methods like property liens, wage garnishments, and even your driver’s license being taken away. Once child support payments are due, they can’t be retroactively modified. You should seek court intervention as soon as possible if your ex refuses visitation, but continue making your monthly child support payments.
What If My Ex Is Denying That I Am The Father?
One way a spiteful ex may try to keep you from your child is by denying that you are even the child’s father. While this would eliminate your duty to pay child support, it would also take away your right to spend time with your child. In order to protect your right to be a part of your child’s life, you will need to legally establish paternity.
There are only a few ways to legally establish paternity of your child. If you are listed as the father on your child’s birth certificate, you are legally presumed to be the father of the child. You also will be presumed to be the child’s father if you were married to the child’s mother within ten months of the child’s birth. However, both of these presumptions can be overturned. Both parents can sign an affidavit agreeing to the child’s paternity. If none of these circumstances are present, the parents can use DNA testing to establish paternity for the child. If lab results show a match of 95% or more, the father in question will be legally deemed the child’s father. Either parent can request DNA testing through the court. Once paternity has been established, custody and support orders will need to be made.
Contact Our AZ Child Custody Attorneys Today!
If you pay child support while your ex has your children most of the time, this can put you in a vulnerable position. Repeated violations of custody orders may seem to go unnoticed, while a late child support payment can result in severe penalties. To make sure that you aren’t in an unfair situation, you should review your case with an experienced Arizona family law attorney. For skilled representation at affordable rates, call for your free consultation with one of our Arizona custody lawyers today. Learn more about your rights and next steps, and get started with the legal procedures necessary to enforce your custody orders today. Our Custody Attorneys look forward to assisting you.
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