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My ex won’t let me see our child: Can I withhold support?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | Family Law |

When parents who share minor children divorce, one of the most important subjects they need to address is the children’s post-divorce living arrangements. Basically, this involves how the children’s day-to-day needs will be met as well as parenting time. And this is where child support and custody orders come in. But what happens if the custodial parent backtracks on their obligation to let you see the child?

Both child custody and child support are independent court orders. Thus, a violation of either judgment can lead to a range of consequences. Even if your ex is interfering with a court-sanctioned visitation and parenting time, you must still pay child support. 

Why you can’t withhold child support

Child support has nothing to do with your ability to see and spend time with the child. Rather, it has everything to do with meeting your child’s daily needs like food, clothing, education, housing and healthcare among others. Failure to fulfill this obligation amounts to a violation of a court order. 

If you do not pay child support, the court may take the following actions against you:

  • Your wage may be garnished
  • Your driver’s license may be suspended
  • Your application for a U.S. passport may be denied
  • You may be held in contempt of court and sent to jail

Alongside these direct penalties, any unpaid child support will continue to accrue. And this can put a strain on your finances. 

Protecting your rights

If your ex withholds visitation, you cannot “teach them a lesson” by withholding child support. However, you can ask the court to enforce the order and take appropriate action against them.