Dealing with your ex to get child support payments in California can prove tough. It may seem like withholding their visitation rights until they pay is the best option to get them to cough up the funds. However, this isn’t a good idea.
Child support vs. visitation
It’s vital to realize that child support and visitation are two very different things. While they both relate to your children, they’re decided differently by the judge. Just because your ex isn’t paying child support, it doesn’t mean that you can withhold visitation. These are two separate processes and they should be kept that way.
Realize that visitation rights are an important part of your child’s relationship with your ex. Visitation is a way for them to cultivate a meaningful relationship. You can’t take that away because your ex isn’t financially paying for child support.
Obtaining child support
In the event that your ex is not paying their child support, you should start by contacting your local Office of Child Support Enforcement. Let them handle things like garnishing your ex’s wages, not allowing them to obtain a passport, taking their unemployment compensation or even enforcing jail time against them. It’s best to let the professionals handle the issue of unpaid child support.
You don’t want to fall into the trap of withholding visitation as you’ll be violating the law yourself. Child custody orders must be followed to a tee. Take a deep breath and remember that you don’t want to violate the law as your ex has already done.
When your ex decides that they’re no longer paying child support, it can be a frustrating situation. It can be tempting to withhold visitation as a way to get them to pay. However, this is illegal for you to do.