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Can I Deny Visitation for Failure to Pay Child Support?


When it comes to child custody and support, there are many issues that can arise between parents. Typically, the noncustodial parent pays child support to the custodial parent to help cover the child’s expenses, and the noncustodial parent has either joint custody or visitation rights with the child. One commonly asked question when the noncustodial parent falls behind in child support payments is whether the custodial parent can deny visitation until the payments are made. If you have questions like this and other family law issues, the experienced legal team at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III can help. Call or contact the office today to schedule an initial consultation.

Can Visitation Be Denied?

It is completely natural to get frustrated and angry when a parent fails to pay child support, and some consider denying that parent the right to see their child until the support payments are made. However, a custodial parent is not allowed to deny visitation because that parent has fallen into arrears with child support payments. Florida law considers child support and visitation two separate issues, and one cannot be used to compel the other. A parent that denies legal visitation for failure to pay child support can get in trouble with the courts, and repeated denials could ultimately lead to a change in the child custody and visitation arrangement.

Even if denying visitation does not rise to that level, taking this approach to get unpaid child support can lead to serious communication and trust issues between parents that are supposed to be parenting the child together. This approach can also lead to additional and unnecessary court hearings that cost both parents time and money that could be otherwise spent on their child.

How to Compel Child Support

If the noncustodial parent is in arrears with child support, the custodial parent has other legal options besides denying visitation to compel support payments. The court can withhold a portion of the noncustodial parent’s paycheck as part of an income withholding strategy until the arrears are paid off. Another option is to hold the noncustodial parent in contempt of court until the support is paid or to suspend professional and recreational licenses. One final option is to place a lien on the noncustodial parent’s property or hold a sheriff’s sale to make up the proceeds of the support in arrears. There are many options besides illegally withholding visitation from the noncustodial parent to compel child support payments. Talk to an experienced Florida family law attorney today to learn more about your options for compelling support outside of denying visitation to the noncustodial parent.

Talk to Blair H. Chan, III Today

Dealing with child support payments in arrears is a frustrating and difficult issue, but denying visitation with the child is not the answer. Call the office or contact us today to schedule an initial consultation of your case with a skilled Tampa family attorney at the office of Blair H. Chan III PLLC.


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