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Witholding visitation over unpaid child support may be unwise

Not receiving court-ordered child support payments in a timely manner can be extremely frustrating for custodial parents in Texas and around the country, but it may be unwise for them to respond by withholding visitation. This is because visitation and custody arrangements are put into place with the best interests of the child in mind, and interfering with them over financial issues could lead to legal problems.

Custodial parents may believe that withholding visitation will put pressure on noncustodial parents to meet their financial obligations, but the law views child custody and child support as two completely different matters. Children have a right to spend time with both of their parents, and infringing on this right because of a dispute over money could be difficult to explain to a family law judge.

However, custodial parents may withhold visitation when doing so is in the best interests of the child or children involved. This often happens when noncustodial parents have violent tendencies or are struggling to overcome problems with drugs or alcohol. Custodial parents in such situations should petition the court to have custody and visitation arrangements modified, but it may be wise for them to gather evidence of the danger involved before taking legal action. This is because judges are generally reluctant to deny visitation unless they are presented with compelling reasons to do so.

Experienced family law attorneys may file the documents necessary to seek child custody and visitation modifications, and they could also explain to their clients the kind of arguments that judges find persuasive in these situations. When custody disputes are rooted in lingering resentment between the parents involved, attorneys may suggest a less adversarial venue like mediation. These sessions could help parents to resolve their differences while avoiding a bitter legal battle that could leave their children emotionally scarred.

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