Visitation Based on Child Support

Jodi - posted on 06/06/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I see comments about this all the time in various communities. Women who withhold visitation because their ex doesn't pay their child support. They use the term "let". They don't "let" him have visitation if he doesn't pay......

Do you think that the custodial parent should withhold visitation if the non-custodial parent doesn't pay their child support bill? Or is it a case of don't punish the children for the sins of the moron who isn't paying?

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Amie - posted on 06/09/2010

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I don't understand it. It is putting the child in the middle of the parents fight. That's not right.

My ex has NEVER paid child support. Not one dime. He still sees the kids when he shows up. For 5 years he was gone from their lives, when he came back the only stipulation there was that they be supervised until the kids are comfortable with him.

The sad fact is some fathers will do anything in their power to not pay child support. Oh well, it does not give the mother license to use her children to get back at him. It's called taking the higher road. Don't stoop to that level just to get even.

Charlie - posted on 06/06/2010

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I think its horrible to use a child as a bargaining chip , find some way to make him pay but DONT make your child pay .

Jodi - posted on 06/06/2010

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So how do you think a child will react if for years, you stop them seeing their father JUST because the moron didn't pay child support? Should it really be all about money?

I am stuck paying everything, my son knows that, he knows his dad is a bit of a loser, but he still chooses to see his dad because he loves him. What right do I have to put a stop to that because of money? I don't believe I SHOULD have that right. To me, the issues between the parents (and child support is an issue between the adults) should not affect the child's rights to have a relationship with both parents.

[deleted account]

Right! LOL! What you said secondly...." don't punish the children for the sins of the moron who isn't paying "........unless daddy is providing an unfit or harmful environment I don't think visitation should be withheld. It's ultimately just affecting the child negatively.

[deleted account]

My husband has been on the receiving end of an evil cow who wouldnt let him see his daughter whenever she had a strop on. We sent her a cheque every week regardless but every time we did something she didnt approve of she'd cancel visitation. Its not fair on the kid or the parent its just a way for the mother to hurt the father and all it does is messes the kids head up.

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Rosie - posted on 06/10/2010

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i can't use my children as pawns in a game. my ex doesn't pay support, but he chooses not to see his child. if he wanted to see him, i have always told him he could. if he all of a sudden wanted joint custody or something, that wouldn't happen. he could see him more and more and build up a relationship with him, and then i would consider it, but i wouldn't send my 10 year old child to live with a stranger just cause that stranger happens to be his dad. does that make sense?lol!

Cynthia - posted on 06/09/2010

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So true! I also see it from my boyfriend's point of view.

The short time his daughter was living with her mom, my boyfriend didn't pay child support (nor did his ex go for it). BUT... he was buying everything his daughter needed. He wouldn't give his ex money because she was an excessive drinker at the time (I'm talking a pint of rum a day and pawning things off to get the money for booze). So he would buy the clothes and he'd bring a bunch of groceries to her every week so his kid (and his ex's kid which isn't his bio kid) wouldn't go hungry.

So even though he wasn't paying child support, he was still fully supporting his child, aside from helping pay his ex's bills. During that time, he also took his kid almost every weekend and sometimes during the week.

He also takes his ex's son, who he raised, as much as possible... and we are hoping for him to come live with us, as he is also unhappy with his "loser" mom. He's a good daddy and I'm proud to have him as the father of my child :)

Jodi - posted on 06/09/2010

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@ Cynthia, I don't get it either. Why wouldn't a parent WANT to support their child. But there is no accounting for some people. My ex keeps going on about how *I* earn the same as *him* so why should he give me any money....well it kind of costs a lot of money to raise a teenage boy, and it should be BOTH of our responsibilities, but instead his step-father steps up and supports the family, while I see a measly little $160 a month to support a teenage boy in private Catholic school (read fees and uniform). It is unfortunate that life breeds losers as well as winners.

Cynthia - posted on 06/09/2010

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Ok, I haven't read any of the posts, but we are in this situation.



My boyfriend has full custody of his 8-year-old daughter. Her mother doesn't pay a dime in child support, nor does she choose to help out with buying necessities such as clothing. My boyfriend doesn't mind this, he sees it as all he wants is his kid, money or not.



He gives his ex the option of seeing their daughter whenever she wants. She chooses to only take her for a bit over Christmas vacation and for most of the summer.



I'm fine with this, because the girl was not happy living with her mother and is much better off with us. Sure, the money would be helpful, but it's far from the main concern.



Now what really irritates me and I have no understanding of is how her mother doesn't even WANT to support her kid. If it was me, I would want to do whatever I could to give my kid what I was able to, even if it wasn't a whole lot. Also, seeing my kid twice a year would not be even NEAR enough for me. If I didn't have custody of my kid, you're damn right I'm gonna do everything I can to see her as much as possible, even if it means sacrificing things for myself in order to afford it. That's what being a parent is about, and sadly, my boyfriend's ex is too concerned about herself and her wants to think about the needs of her daughter. And that is why my boyfriend has custody :)

[deleted account]

Unfortunately though the majority of decent dads are seen as a financial figure. The mother cant have her man back because hes moved on so theres only two ways to get revenge through access to his child and through his pocket. My stepdaughter was taught from the moment they split up to hit her dad for money constantly and at 25 shes still trying it now. Result she has no relationship with her father or siblings, her children have no relationship with their grandfather and uncles all because her mother couldnt get over the fact that my husband didnt want her anymore.

Louise - posted on 06/08/2010

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I have mixed feelings about this. I think every child has a right to know their father and to try and have some sort of relationship. In England the father is ordered to pay CSA (maintenance) straight from his employer so if the mother has taken him to court he has no choice as it is paid direct into the mums account. But some dead beat dads get around this by quitting their jobs and then they have to pay a £1 a week! If the man has done this on purpose I think he should be punished and if that means taking away his right to see the child regularly then so be it. How else do you get there attention. But, at the end of the day your child needs a father figure and there perception of their dad is not a financial one. Difficult! If I was a single mum I would still want my child to see their dad no matter what I thought of him as they would only hold it against me when they were older.

Lea - posted on 06/07/2010

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Child support is a legal right and what you do is file it with court. You will get your money its just a matter of time. The court will garnish his wages if necessary. You child will suffer not only from not seeing their father, but also from the financial struggles you will have. Keep that in mind. Neither should be an issue.

[deleted account]

There's a huge difference between a dead-beat dad versus a loving dad who simply is unable to financially support his child, IMO. The custodial parent (usually the mom, certainly not always) needs to see the bigger picture.

Heidi - posted on 06/07/2010

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I don't think visitation should be withheld either... A child should know who is father or mother is whether they are paying support. I have an ex who does pay child support, but rarely sees his son. Long story, but its a decision that my ex has made on his own.

Tah - posted on 06/07/2010

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2 totally different things....my ex owes over 11,000 dollars, if i kept my son from from him because of missed payments he wouldnt see him until he having a mid-life crisis(my son that is)...and it is the same in the eyes of the law..they dont even want to hear about child support at a custody hearing and vice versa....i had his visits shortened because he is a horrible influence, but that was way after he stopped paying his child support, no you can't punish the child, you have to let them see for themselves..

Sarah - posted on 06/07/2010

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Like with Erin, most of the cases i know about, if the father isn't paying the child support, then he is completely out of the picture.

I don't think you should withhold visiting rights to try and get child support, the child has a right to see their father (or mother if it's the other way around)

In saying that, i guess there must be cases where it seems like the only way, if the mother is seriously struggling to make ends meet, than maybe she can see no other way.
I guess it depends on the situation, but as a general rule, i don't think visitation rights should be withheld purely to get child support.

Ez - posted on 06/07/2010

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As the mother of a child who's father has chosen to have nothing to do with her, nothing aggravates me more than seeing women using their children as ammunition to piss off the ex. So I think it's entirely wrong to keep a child from a willing parent. However, it is my experience that if a father is not contributing financially, they're usually not interested in seeing their children either.

C. - posted on 06/06/2010

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Hmm, that's a good question, Jodi!

This is a tough one for me. On one hand, the parent isn't help support the child financially, so why should they be able to see their child.. On the other hand, it is still THEIR child.. BUT, if you 'let' the person take their child for the day/week/weekend/what-have-you, then they are somewhat financially supporting that child, b/c they would be paying for everything they and the child went to do, right?

But, in all honesty.. I think I'm leaning towards the "it's their child, too" side.. Children need BOTH parents unless it's impossible (like a death or jail with no visitation) or irresponsible (like the parent is a druggie or alcoholic). So I would say they don't have a right to withhold visitation.. Gee, this actually sounds a lot like something my husband's Army buddy is going through with his wife. Yep, I just reassured myself that I made the right decision.. It's definitely not right to withhold visitation..

Suzette - posted on 06/06/2010

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I don't think it's appropriate to do that to the children and if the guys were smarter (some of them actually do this too) they would call the police and the officers would enforce the court orders. I knew a couple of guys, used to be friends with them, that would carry their orders around when their ex's would get a wild hair up their butt and tell them they weren't going to see their kids that weekend or whatever. They'd just call the cops and they'd come out and enforce the order. One of them hadn't paid child support because he'd lost his job so it wasn't taken from his check as it usually was. The officer came out and told the woman if she wanted to withhold visitation she had to take him back to court, otherwise she had to follow what the orders said. She was pissed beyond all belief. She almost got herself arrested verbally assaulting the officer. I don't think a lot of these women realize that they have to follow the court orders too and that, most of the time, the child custody and the child support are totally separate orders.

Joanna - posted on 06/06/2010

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Geeze Holly, I'm in CA too and I had no idea the hassle of child support! Yikes! I know that I have a friend in either ND or MN (they live in Fargo or Moorhead, it's a border thing) and they lost their job and within like a month child support went down to something like $10 a month.

And I know it sucks to make a child pay, I know they don't see the difference of responsible adult vs. bum, they see love, so it's a tough situation. I just can't stand that there isn't justice for people who don't get any support.

[deleted account]

Exactly Loureen!



Also, for the question if child support is reduced when the paying parent is unemployed - that is not always the case. For child support to be reduced, the parent requesting the reduction (99% of the time the parent paying the support) has to file a motion with the court. Then it goes to court, and possibly mediation, both of which can take MONTHS to schedule and occur, not to mention the added costs of filing and court, plus attorney's fees (if the parent has an attorney). Of course, the parent could always file for assistance, but in some states that can take months to process as well. In the meantime, the paying parent is unemployed and (possibly) looking for work, but they ARE still accountable for the child support as it stands.



It's a sucky system, and if anyone's state is any different please let me know! We're in California and I know that is the law here...

Joanna - posted on 06/06/2010

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It sucks for the children, but why reward the parents if they can't fulfill their duties? Why should one parent be stuck paying for everything while the other parent gets to enjoy playtime with the kids. Something needs to happen if they can't live up to their responsibilities. In the economy, if someone lost their job, isn't the child support amount due drastically reduced? That's the only exception I can see, really, is if they CAN'T pay it, but are being responsible and still looking for a job.

[deleted account]

I don't think any parent should EVER withold visitation from a non-custodial parent for anything other than abuse and/or endangerment. If a non-custodial parent can't afford to pay should they be punnished by not having a relationship with their child? NO WAY! My daughter's bio mom has NEVER paid child support, but we still give her the visitation time. Not only because it's court ordered (and here in the US support and visitation are seperate as well), but because it's what it best for our daughter (usually... long story...).

[deleted account]

I do think some custodial parents use visitation as a bargaining power trip-if you don't pay, you can't play. I think this is an abuse of the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent. However, Sharon made a valid point of the non-custodial parent losing a job, or simply not in a good financial position. So does that make the non-custodial parent a bad parent, or an unloving parent? No, I think it's case by case. I can share that my brother-in-law has to pay his ex-wife $600/month child support for his 6 year old daughter. There have been months that he has been late or simply did not have the funds. For awhile, he got evicted and had to move back with Mommy in a cramped 1 BR apartment. My BIL is an awesome dad! But sometimes struggles to get that $600 a month to his ex. Even though the parents are on horrible terms, the ex-wife has never withheld visitation becasue she knows he really is a good dad. Not so good in the financial aspect, but an awesome dad.

Sharon - posted on 06/06/2010

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I sort of think this is appropriate. Sometimes this is the way to make guys pay attention.

But what about the guys who simply lost their job? Its not appropriate for them.

Are the kids really suffering by not being in the presence of a dumbass who doesn't think enough about them to pay a little towards their support?

Most of the dads I know who don't pay, dump their kids on their current GF/Mother/semi stranger anyway, then play x-box for hours, or go to the bar.

Jodi - posted on 06/06/2010

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If I could just add, I know that in Australia child support is separated from visitation anyway, but there are many people who don't bother getting visitation court ordered, so are not in the Family Court system.

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