Do I have to continue paying child support to a child that I no longer see?
I have seen my daughter only a handful of times in the past five years due to my ex-wife’s flagrant disregard for parenting time orders and severe parental alienation where my daughter says she never wants to see me again.
Is it fair that my income is withheld and I pay all this child support for a child who no longer wants to see me?
I am only licensed to practice law in Illinois so I cannot offer legal advice on divorce on the laws in other states. However, I can give you a general answer that may be helpful to you.
Unfortunately, you cannot withhold child support even if you are not receiving visitation with your child.
If you do not pay your child support obligation, you can be held in contempt of court and will continue to be liable for any unpaid child support. You can also be ordered to pay interest on any unpaid child support.
Your child support obligation continues until your daughter reaches the age of emancipation as determined in your state. (Read related article: “Age Of Emancipation In Your State“)
The withholding order that is currently in place will not automatically terminate, and you will need to have a termination order entered to terminate child support and stop the withholding.
If your income has decreased since the order for child support was entered, you may be able to get a reduction in child support. In order to reduce your child support, you need to file a Petition with the court. Until an order is entered reducing your child support, you remain liable for the full amount, and need to continue making your child support payments.
You should contact a qualified domestic relations attorney to review your child support and income information to determine whether a child support modification may be warranted in your case.