Money Madness: Child Support and Visitation are Not Related
Family Law cases often present the repeated question: "Can I prevent my ex-spouse from visiting with the kids if he/she is not paying his/her child support?"
The short answer is “No.”
As much as it seems like you should have the power to prevent visitation if he/she is not paying the court-ordered child support, to do so makes you just as much in contempt as he/she is. The judge can suspend or terminate his/her visitation with the kids for non-payment of child support but you can’t.
The proper thing to do is file a Contempt Petition with the court asking the Judge to find him/her in contempt. The Judge could (and often does) enter sanctions against him/her such as termination of visitation, incarceration, garnishing wages, review hearings every month to ensure continued payments, court costs, interest, and reimbursement of attorney’s fees.
It is important that contempt proceedings are filed with the court if he/she is not following the Order. Otherwise, the Judge will never know that he/she is “cheating.”
Our firm helps clients with these types of contempt proceedings every day. Call us at 251-968-2320 to schedule a free consultation.