Denied visitation but still expected to pay child support


After we divorced, my wife disappeared with my son who I haven’t been able to see in many years. Since I haven’t been allowed my court-ordered visitation rights, I quit paying child support. Why should I pay child support for a son I’m never allowed to see?

Now the state has suspended my driver’s license for being behind on child support. Since my ex is not following through with allowing me my parenting time, is there anything I can do?

Why can she deny my visitation rights but I am not allowed to quit paying child support?


It is terribly unfortunate that your  ex-wife has denied you visitation with your child.

In Missouri, a parent that is unreasonably denied visitation with his child may file a Motion for Contempt or a Family Access Motion.

A Motion for Contempt alleges that the custodial parent has failed to perform her duties as outlined in the marital settlement agreement and parenting plan.

A Family Access Motion alleges that the custodial parent has refused to provide the non-custodial parent with access to the child. Depending on the facts of your situation, both motions could be utilized to achieve the best result for you and your child.

As frustrating as it might be, even if your ex-wife denies visitation, your duty and obligation to pay child support remains. Most judges are not sympathetic with a father who has failed to pay his child support obligation unless that father had an illness or disability that left him unable to earn a wage.

Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion of your legal rights, I urge you to contact an attorney immediately.

Cordell & Cordell has well qualified and experienced men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide, including many in Missouri, if you require additional legal assistance.


Michelle Hughes is an Associate Attorney in the Jefferson County, Missouri office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Hughes is licensed in the states of Missouri and Illinois, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. A native to metro St. Louis, Ms. Hughes received her BBA in Economics and Finances from McKendree College. She later received her Juris Doctor from Thomas Cooley Law School where she graduated cum laude.

End of Content Icon

6 comments on “Denied visitation but still expected to pay child support

    I have an adult child I’m still paying child support too because he’s still in high school but will be turning 20 in 2 months. The Court Order is out of Oklahoma. It’s been about a year since I last spoke with him. I call his phone, text him send email’s to him and when I have his sister on the phone I ask her to put him on the phone, however, I’m told he’s sleep. Even though over the past 18 years we spoke 2, 3 even 4 or 5 times per week. I even attended his high school graduation to find out when I went to court to cease child support for him since he had aged out that he’s still in high school taking up classes on how to fill out job applications, go on job interviews, how to take care of a household, etc., so the courts allowed support payment to continue. Now they say he’s slightly disable. My question is, now that my child is an adult about to turn 20 the 1st of may and seems he’s made the adult decision not to communicate with me nor have any contact with me in over a year, might I still be obligated to pay child support for him and do I have do contact his mother and asked her if I can talk with him even though he is a fully grown man now.


    I am a Mother of 2 girls and recently my ex- received custody of one of my daughters after I have had her in my care for 13 years. The court made this decision based on my teenager thinking that the grass was greener on the other side. The court system split my children whom have always lived together. so I got custody of one daughter and he got the other.Before then I have struggled as a single mother with NO Child support from him and I took care of my girls by myself with one income. I never received any help from him and now that he has custody and I have finally made some success for myself and have my head above water for the first time in my life, he takes me back to court leaves his job to take a lesser paying job and gets awarded child support for a child that he has manipulated to not even come over to see me in over 2 years! So i feel for everyone who this happens to whether you are a father or a mother. My girls are my life and money has never been a focal point to raise my kids as I worked my butt off to give them what they want, with no help from the ex/their father. Its a shame that now that I can successfully provide for them without consonantly being stressed, he takes money from me. and to think he has 2 incomes to my still 1, as he is remarried. its a shame that people cannot just think of their kids instead of anger and greed. we have been divorced for 14 years! If again anyone has any suggestions please respond. I just want to see my child. I miss her dearly.

    If anyone leaving comments finds a way to get this kind of stuff please post here. I pay my support and have full joint legal custody of 2 girls. My ex denies me my visitation and makes all medical, religious, and schooling decisions on her own without ever including me in any decision. I don’t even find out about medical decisions until she submits the bill to the court for reimbursement, such as school, braces, surgeries, wisdom teeth being removed. She most recently sent my daughter 1100 miles away to a boarding school specializing in troubled teens. She never discussed with me at all and lied to me about where my daughter was and on the forms for the school listed me as deceased, so it took me weeks to get the school to even tell me she was there after I sent them my court order for visitation and having full joint legal custody. The school still does not notify me when she gets injured in their care or allow me to be involved in her treatment plan. They have never even let me talk to my daughter. Most recently I notified the school that I am going there and want to tour the premises to get a better understanding of my daughters day to day life there and to see her and they are trying to refuse me of that. That are far to many loopholes in the system and people manipulating it.

    I once had a daughter.
    I got divorced 15 yrs ago. After fighting for joint custody and spending thousands of dollars on attorney fees my ex wife decided to move 3000 miles away with my daughter of 6 yrs old. The judge informed me I am allowed to travel to use my visitations. Needless to say after almost 15 years I’ve seen my daughter 3 times. When they first moved I was involved in an auto accident and had to get emergency surgery. This put me in the poor house with nowhere to go or no one to help and needless to say I went into a terribly deep depression. I thought my whole world had come to an end until a sheriff’s deputy knocked on my door with a warrant. Then I knew I was in hell. With countless hours on the phone and 3 visits in person to the local child support office they let me keep my license and increased my child support to pay on arrears as well as continue my current support amount. I now have 4 payments left and feel like my life will actually start over again 15 years later. To all the dads out there in similar situations my heart goes out to you. I remember telling the child support officer that I could never pay in child support what my daughter is worth to me, and that I wanted to do the right thing, just please let me know what govt agency I needed to talk to about being denied visitation. She informed me that even though visitation and child support were in the same judge signed divorce agreement and both are bound legally by that document, only child support is enforced. My grandfather told me as a child that men are the viewed as being the dominant sex, however if the truth be told we (men) are the new powerless minority. At 40 yrs old now I understand. There is no true justice. Good Luck to you all.

    Going through the same thing
    I wish I could help but I’m going through the same thing. I have seen my kids twice in the last 12 years but yet I am required to pay $1100 a month…I got behind on my support because I stopped paying her when she took off with my kids and I couldn’t find her for almost 3 years. That turned out to be a HUGE mistake. I spend a total of 11 months in jail. If you find out anything on how to resolve the problem you are having please let me know. Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *