Can you cut off your co-parent’s visitation with your child if they won’t pay child support? This is a common question from a lot of custodial parents who are dealing with the frustration of a co-parent who can pay the support they owe but won’t.
There are a lot of legal options open to you to enforce the support order. However, withholding access to the child you share isn’t one of them.
Child custody isn’t a “pay to play” situation
Legally speaking, child custody and child support are two entirely different issues. While the amount of support you’re supposed to receive (and your co-parent is supposed to pay) may partially depend on the amount of time each of you has the child in your care, a parent won’t be prevented from seeing their child over a support issue.
No matter how frustrated you become, you don’t want to try to interfere with your co-parent’s custody rights. Whatever parenting plan you have became an official order from the court as soon as a judge signed off on it. Any violation will put you on the wrong end of a contempt order.
What can be done if someone isn’t paying child support?
So, what can you do? Generally speaking, you take your case to the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE), and they can use the legal system to apply the appropriate pressure to your obstinate co-parent. This can include things like:
- Suspension of professional licenses
- Suspension of their driver’s license
- Intercepting their tax refunds
- Putting liens on their property
- Civil contempt proceedings
If your co-parent has refused to pay what they owe, don’t try to take the situation into your own hands. An experienced legal approach can help you get what your child needs with fewer problems and delays.