Can a Parent Stop Paying Child Support to Enforce Custody and Visitation Arrangements?

Establishing a child custody and visitation arrangement is often one of the most emotionally-charged aspects of divorce. When you finally reach an arrangement through negotiations or a court order, it can be a relief for the whole family.

Unfortunately, sometimes a parent refuses to abide by the terms of a custody order, whether it involves weekend visits, overnights, visitation hours, vacations, relocation or any other issues. Many parents wish to stop paying child support when they are unable to share parenting time as a means of enforcing an order or in retaliation against the other parent. However, visitation and custody issues are separate from support and you should never take matters into your own hands by withholding child support. If you withhold child support when you have been ordered to pay it, you may face serious consequences:

  • License suspension or denial of your passport
  • Withholding of your tax refund or lottery winnings
  • Liens against your house or other real estate or personal injury awards
  • Seizure of your property by the state
  • Negative credit reporting
  • Jail sentence

Instead of taking measures that could end up harming you and your family, an experienced family law attorney can help protect your parenting time by filing a petition with the court. Keep an account of each custody or visitation violation that includes times and dates to present to the judge. The court schedules a hearing to decide whether either parent is in violation of an order. Afterwards, the judge may modify a custody or visitation or impose sanctions on the parent who is in violation of an order.

Child custody and support issues are often complex and may change frequently as your children get older and your circumstances change. If you need assistance enforcing, modifying or obtaining a child custody or support order in Westchester and Putnam counties, a compassionate and knowledgeable New York divorce attorney may be able to provide the support you need.

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