Divorce can be an opportunity for a fresh start but it also presents some challenges. The family court will rule on various issues, including custody and child support.
Based on your income and your spouse’s financial position, the court may order that you pay child support. However, your own financial circumstances aren’t necessarily going to remain the same post-divorce.
Can you be stopped from seeing your child if you fall behind on support payments?
Custody and support are separate
Although some parents believe they have a right to interfere with custody when payments haven’t been made, they do not. Child support and child custody are completely separate legal issues. As a parent, you have visitation rights whether or not you are struggling financially. This is something that only the court can modify.
You may be able to request a modification
As with all financial issues, it is best to act proactively. If you’ve lost your job or have incurred medical costs, then the family court may take this into consideration, but you’ll need to let them know. A child support modification is possible if circumstances out of your control have resulted in you struggling with money.
Child support cannot be ignored
The court, however, can impose penalties if support has not been paid because a parent simply disagrees with the amount. They may demand payment and the issue could even become a criminal matter.
If you are struggling with support payments or have issues with child custody, then it’s best to take action as soon as possible. Having legal guidance behind you will be extremely beneficial.