Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”)
on Unpaid Support & Visitation
Q: If the Obligor Parent Does Not Pay, Can Visitation Stop?
A: No. The child support obligation and the right to child visitation are considered two different issues. Failure to pay child support is insufficient grounds to stop the right of the obligor parent to visit with their child. Child visitation is vital in establishing a meaningful relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent.
Child support is about the financial needs of the child and the ability of both parents to provide for these needs. This is a separate issue and does not have a determinative effect upon visitation. The obliged parent must continue to allow visitation with the child, despite failure of the obligor parent to pay child support. If the obliged parent “frustrates” the right of the obligor parent to visit with the child, the obligor parent could ask the court to change custody of the child based upon this frustration of visitation.
Q: What if the Obliged Parent Does Not Spend any Money on the Child?
A: This is a very difficult issue to resolve. On one hand, the obliged parent has the right to spend child support money as they see fit, in the best interest of a child. Plus, the obliged parent has the obligation to provide for the best interests of the child. If the obliged parent is a delinquent in meeting their parental responsibilities toward the child, and the child needs are not met. This parent could become charged with child abuse or neglect.