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Can I withhold visitation for unpaid child support?

With certain rights come certain responsibilities. This is no different when it comes to being a parent. When a person is legally established as the parent of a child, he or she has the right to visitation, so long as he or she does not present any threat or danger to the child. At the same time, if the parent has a significant income, he or she also has the responsibility to provide financially for his or her child.

However, although parenting comes with rights and responsibilities, there is no legal connect between the two. This is generally because that visitation is not just the parent's right, but the child's right too. It would not be fair to further punish children by keeping them away from their other parent, purely because of the actions of a parent.

This rule also works both ways. If the parent decides that he or she does not want to have visitation rights or a relationship with his or her child, it does not mean that he or she is free from the responsibilities of child support. The simple status of being a legal parent means that financial support is their responsibility.

What if I am concerned about the safety of my child?

You cannot refuse visitation because of unpaid child support. However, if you have any reason to believe that your child is in danger while visiting the other parent, you have the right to refuse visitation. You should contact the court immediately to request an emergency child support modification.

If you are struggling to retrieve unpaid child support, it is important that you take action for the future of your child.

Source: The Spruce, "Can a Parent Withhold Visitation For Unpaid Child Support?," accessed March 09, 2018

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