Can you withhold child support when your ex refuses visitation?

Can you withhold child support when your ex refuses visitation?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2021 | Family Law |

Both parents have responsibilities to their children under Louisiana law. When a couple breaks up or divorces, they have to find a way to split up those responsibilities. Typically, parents will share both financial responsibilities and parenting time.

There is a direct correlation between how much parenting time one parent has with their support obligations for the children. The amount of child support that you pay reflects how much parenting time you have under the current parenting plan, as well as the income each parent earns and the needs of the children.

If your ex refuses to let you spend time with your children, can you refuse to pay child support until they stop interfering with your parents in time?

Your support responsibilities don’t end because your ex violates your rights

It is crucial for you as the non-custodial parent to understand that your right to visitation or parenting time is separate from your obligation to pay child support. While these two factors do influence each other, they do not have a direct legal relationship.

Your ex’s inability to give you parenting time does not negate your obligation to pay child support. In fact, they could contact state agencies and ask for child support enforcement help because you have stopped making payments. You can face the garnishment of your wages, the seizure of your tax return or even the revocation or denied renewal of professional or recreational licensing if you stop paying child support because your ex won’t let you see your kids.

How do you enforce a custody order if not through child support?

If you cannot deduct support from what you pay your ex because they have violated your visitation right, how do you hold them accountable for that misconduct? The answer is that you document their behavior and then ask the courts to intervene.

Just like Louisiana state authorities will help enforce child support, you can count on the Louisiana family courts to take action when one parent intentionally interferes in the other’s relationship with the children. Custodial interference or parental alienation claims could lead not only to make up parenting time for you but possibly even a changed custody order that gives you more time with the kids.

Understanding your rights when you share custody with your ex will make you a more effective advocate for yourself in court.