Failure to Pay Child Support Lawyers

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

Can a Parent Lose Visitation Rights If Child Support Is Not Paid?

If a court has awarded visitation rights to the non-custodial parent, you must honor that even if they are not paying child support regularly, on time, or at all. Child support payment and visitation are two separate issues. Refusing visitation to a non-paying parent may jeopardize your custody rights. There are legitimate ways to enforce a child support order, and although this may be a terribly frustrating situation, withholding visitation is not a good idea.

Note that in some situations, a parent who is not paying child support regularly or at all may still be able to get a court to modify who has custody of the child based on the withholding of visitation. A non-custodial parent may convince a court that the custodial parent is frustrating the other parent's right to see the child. 

Can a Parent Go to Jail If the Parent Doesn’t Pay Child Support?

Potentially. Courts won’t put a parent in jail if he or she misses a couple of payments. A court would probably schedule a hearing to discover the reason for the missed payments and to put the parent on notice that support payments are due. However, if a parent willfully misses payments even after the court orders the parent to pay, then the court could hold the parent in contempt.

If a parent is found in contempt of court, then the court could put the parent in jail for violating a court order. If a parent is held in civil contempt, the parent could set aside or purge the jail sentence by paying the support.

What If the Parent Who Doesn’t Pay Support Is Outside the State?

Parents who live outside the state where the support order was given can still be held accountable for missed payments. The parent who has custody of the child can pursue the other parent by using one of these options:

Do I Need a Lawyer for My Child Support and Visitation Issues?

If you are involved in a situation involving child custody or child support, it may be wise to contact a family lawyer to discuss the best strategy to protect yourself and your children. Consulting with an experienced family lawyer can help you understand your rights and help you deal with the complicated court system. 

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Last Modified: 04-10-2015 10:41 AM PDT

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