Options If Denied Parenting Time Over Owed Child Support

visitation child supportBy Julie Garrison

Special to DadsDivorce.com

If you are late on your child support payments – whether a one-time event or chronic lateness – your ex-wife cannot deny you visitation or parenting time with your children.

This is the law in every state in the U.S.

Visitation is Required

There is only one exception to this rule: Some states provide that a dad may temporarily refrain from paying child support if his ex-wife/the custodial parent has disappeared for a substantial period of time.

It makes sense that if your ex-wife has the children and she has failed to provide you with her whereabouts and that of your children, you may be exempted from child support payments until your ex-wife and the children are located.

You should not, however, arbitrarily stop paying. You must send payments to your ex-wife’s last known address until you can petition the court for any type of temporary payment stoppage.

Remember, only a few states allow payment stoppage under the above conditions.

Get Sound Advice

The most important thing to do when you owe child support payments is to see a licensed family law attorney.

He or she will contact the child support officer for your state and try to work out a plan for catching up and/or lowering your payment amount, especially if your financial situation has undergone material changes, such as a decrease in hours at work or a layoff.

Your child support attorney may also be able to negotiate a change in the date that your child support payment is due based on your ability to pay at different times during each month.

Communication is Vital

The worst thing you can do if you are late on your child support payments is nothing. The courts will construe this as a lack of willingness to pay, which may be far removed from the truth in reality.

Communication is everything, and your willingness to work with your ex-wife will put you in the best position on the legal playing field.

Visitation is Your Right

Your ex-wife must allow you to see your children regardless of the status of child support payments. Your children need you in their lives regardless of whether or your ex cooperates with you.

The courts may reprimand her for denying visitation. She may be fined, or a judge may even restructure the child custody arrangement between you and your ex-wife.

No Control

In this modern age, one ex-spouse is not supposed to exercise control over another. Both parents are of equal importance to their children.

All people occasionally go through difficult financial times, especially in the decade we are living in with the shaky American economy. It’s not your fault if you are laid off.

Communicating with your state’s child support authority about your financial situation and obtaining sound legal advice from a fathers’ rights family law attorney should place you in good stead.

Both can help you enforce your right to visitation and parenting time with your children and help you to work out a feasible child support plan where you can catch up on support arrears and remain current.


Julie Garrison has been writing articles and short stories for the past 10 years and has appeared in several magazines and e-zines.

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3 comments on “Options If Denied Parenting Time Over Owed Child Support

    You people are part of the problem. It’s not ‘visitation’, it’s ‘paternal parenting time’. When you use the word visitation, you are devalue and diminishing a man’s role as a father. Good grief. Even you can’t figure that out and you claim to be out fighting for dads? I beg to differ.

    Visitation of Child Denied, Unknown Whereabouts,-also, can my interest be reduced or forgiven by agency
    I went this through years with my ex. For about half of my daughter’s life (daughter now 16) the ex moved from location to location, and in anger over my re-marriage, in anger over my getting laid off, or whenever she felt like it, she moved to different locations- once it was over a year before I heard anything. My daughter was being told I was the worst dad ever and that I did not care about her so she was keeping her away. We had a safe place for my daughter to reside even as my ex bounced my daughter all over California, frequently jobless-from job to job. My wife is disabled and has children. Her children and my daughter got along so well and my wife welcomed my daughter as her own. There was an instance or two where (before permanently disabled) my wife was supporting the entire family due to my job lay off-union construction. My ex had a new boyfriend and dropped my daughter off as she then decided to let her stay all summer with us, after sporadic or no contact for some time again. My ex had no job, was bouncing from place to place looking for the perfect rich man, hunting. We made plans to possibly enroll my daughter into school to which her mother partially went for at one minute to change her mind in the next. Here’s the end of the summer: I took my daughter to her grandma and grandpas across town at around 1pm to visit before summer was over and my ex ended up coming to the next town, with no warning or communicating to us, ripped her out of her grandparents where she played with her cousins, and never said a word to us about her stay for the summer nor thanked my wife for hospitality and caring, we were dumbstruck. The ex is always hostile, angry person. My daughter and I reconciled awhile back and she is angry with her mother. But all those years. I wrote the courts and agency letters about her unknown whereabouts, nothing ever done.been a nightmare of principle, interest, arrears, no bank accounts, unable to even get a business license now that I developed a small biz plan, trying to get out of the union and the frequent layoffs. I am in CA and the jobs have been scarce, applied for hundreds. I do have all principle paid off on one case and only 1500 owed on the other. All the rest of the 8k is interest. Catch 22, I have proven myself yet the system has me in this vicious web and I can’t get ahead. I have been informed that the ex had moved away from my daughter 10 mos ago and daughter is living with a friend and her mother as to not uproot from another school, she is involved in her school and has again made close friends. I am still being tagged for the child support that will go to her despite her care or not, of my daughter. My wife and her kids have suffered with big tax returns being taken away for last 6 yrs. m question right now is, does the govt still take a tax refund if it is only interest that you owe, and you have paid principle? California has an extremely high interest that keeps you stuck and pedal
    Info backwards. Another question is, if I write to the agency, is there a possibility of any reduction of interest to forgive some of the debt and give me my rights back to be a functioning member of society? This is so bad. They do not really care about the kids well-being at all. The kids are a pawn for them to collect interest.and a pawn for a bad mother .

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