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How to handle exes who don't pay child support

Divorced parents in Texas can get frustrated when their exes stop paying child support, hence prompting them to withhold visitation rights till child support is paid. However, parents who do bar their exes from seeing their children are placing themselves on the bad side of the law.

Even though some parents might feel that child support and visitation rights are connected, the law sees them as two separate things entirely. For starters, visitation rights belong to the child just as much as they belong to each parent; after all, children have the right to grow up feeling loved by both parents and shouldn't be punished if one of the parents falls short on their financial obligations. With that said, child support is the responsibility of each parent, regardless of whether they want to be in their children's lives or not. Ergo, whether a parent has visitation rights or not is irrelevant to the fact that they should pay child support.

Alternatively, there are scenarios where a parent might fight to relinquish the other parent's visitation rights, such as when there are safety concerns. If a parent believes that a court-mandated visit could be a safety hazard for their children, then that parent has the right to contact the court and have a professional child custody lawyer speak on their behalf. The safety concerns should be legitimate, and the parent's actions should not be affected whatsoever by whether child support is being paid.

All that being said, parents who haven't received child support from their exes have some legal options at their disposal, one of which is contacting their local Office of Child Support Enforcement, who have the ability to apply sanctions to the delinquent parent, including stopping them from obtaining a passport, seizing a portion of their pay, or enforcing jail time.

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