Is It Worth Fighting For Custody If I Owe Arrears?


I would like to get 50% custody of my two children, but I owe quite a bit of child support arrears. Is it worth fighting for custody when I haven’t been able to pay my child support?


I am not licensed to practice law in in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general information concerning child custody and visitation.

You would need to file either a petition for parenting plan or a petition for modification of the parenting plan, if you currently have one.

Tennessee divorce lawyer Kimberly Gray
Tennessee divorce lawyer Kimberly Gray

It also sounds like you need to file for a modification of child support so you are able to afford it.

Custody and child support are two different issues. If the laws in your state are similar to those in Tennessee, where I am licensed to practice, failure to pay child support will not necessarily prohibit you from being able to get 50% custody, but is something the court will consider.

Further, the court will deal with child support and any arrearage in your case for custody. It may be beneficial to file for both 50% custody as well as a modification to child support at the same time.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Tennessee divorce lawyer Kimberly Gray, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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Shawn Garrison is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell & Cordell UK. He has written countless pieces dealing with the unique child custody and divorce issues that men and fathers face. Through his work on,, and, Mr. Garrison has become an authority on the complexities of the legal experience and was a content creator for the YouTube series “Dad’s Divorce Live” and additional videos on both the Dad’s Divorce and Cordell & Cordell YouTube channels. Mr. Garrison has managed the sites of these customers, and fostered the creation of several of their features, including the Cordell & Cordell attorney and office pages, the Dad’s Divorce Newsletter, and the Cordell & Cordell newsletter.

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