When a romantic relationship that involves a child comes to an end, child custody and support are usually some of the two contentious issues the divorcing or separating couple has to agree on. It is not uncommon for divorcing or separating couples to let emotions get the better of them, impairing their decision-making processes. If the custodial parent is interfering with the visitation arrangement, the non-custodial parent may be tempted to feel they can as well stop paying child support.
However, it is important to understand that both the child custody and child support decrees are binding. This means that neither party can violate an existing court-ordered agreement. Failure to follow through with a court order can land you on the wrong side of the law, and this may impact your standing in court going forward.
So what happens if you withhold child support payment?
A court-sanctioned child support order remains valid unless declared otherwise. Thus, you cannot, out of your own volition, decide to withhold your child support obligations. If this happens, you will be held in contempt of court, and the consequences can include the following:
- Interception of your tax refunds
- Wage garnishment
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Jail time
Holding your ex accountable for withheld visitation
If your ex won’t let you see your child, it is important that you let the court know about it. Since a visitation order legally binding, the court can hold your ex accountable if they are unlawfully preventing you from seeing your child. Some of the consequences of withheld visitation may include a review of the existing custody arrangement in your favor, fines and, in extreme cases, jail time.
Every parent has a right to a healthy relationship with their child. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and interests if your ex is unlawfully violating your visitation rights.