If My Partner Is Failing to Pay Child Support Can I Withhold Visitation?
Tensions can rise and fall in every coparent relationship and it is not uncommon to feel anger or frustration towards your former partner. These emotions become even more difficult to handle if your former partner is failing to pay court ordered child support. It may become difficult during exchange times to see the individual who is refusing to contribute financially to your children. Many are tempted to withhold visitation until they are given the funds they are entitled to. However, this is not in your best interest. Rather, contact your Orlando Child Custody Attorney immediately. They will be able to discuss your case and aid you in getting the funds you are entitled to, as well as discussing with you options you may want to implement to ensure this does not happen in the future.
First, it is important to note what may happen if you withhold visitation from your former partner. Because a parenting plan is court ordered, refusal to comply with a time sharing schedule will be in violation of a court order and you may face legal repercussions. Your former partner may pursue a contempt action to hold you in contempt of court. If you are found in contempt, the court may penalize you with fines, jail time, modifying the parenting plan, awarding extra time sharing to make up for the missed time, or in extreme cases the court may remove the child from your care and award sole custody to the other parent. Therefore, it is important to not take matters into your own hands and personally punish your partner for their failure to pay child support. Rather, contact your Orlando Child Custody Attorney to proceed through legal action.
If your former partner has failed to make child support payments you must file a Motion for Contempt with the court. This motion will put the court on notice that there is an existing court ordered child support, and there has been a violation of this order. It is crucial to present the court with evidence of these missed payments. Bank account statements or copies of old receipts where payments were made, can be evidence presented to the court. If the court finds there has been a willful neglect to pay these court ordered payments, the judge will hold the parent in contempt. This contempt order may include penalties such as fines or jail time. However, it also will include how the overdue support shall be paid, most likely adding it to the future payments.
In order to protect yourself in the future, you may want to ask the court to issue an income withholding order. This would mean that before a parent receives their paycheck, their employer is legally required to withhold the required child support payment. This would allow you to no longer rely on your former partner for payments but instead they will be issued to you through the Department of Revenue, directly from your partner’s employer.
If you are not receiving child support payments that you are entitled to, contact an experienced Orlando Child Custody Attorney today. We will be able start the legal process to ensure you are awarded with the financial support you are legally entitled to as well as protecting you moving into the future.
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