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Do I have to allow visitation if child support is not paid?

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One big source of conflict between divorced parents in Texas involves child support and visitation. Once the courts establish which party is to pay child support and receive visitation rights and which is to retain custody, it is up to both guardians to abide by the court order. Some co-parents believe they have leeway when it comes to child support and visitation. What they fail to realize is the rulings made by the courts are not suggestions. They are legally binding commitments. 

One parent cannot personally penalize the other parent for not upholding her or his end of the arrangement by withholding access to the kids. There are legal penalties for not adhering to child custody, support and visitation orders. 

Purpose of child support and visitation orders 

The courts recognize that children fare best with the involvement of both parents in their lives. They structure child support, custody and visitation orders to reduce the psychological and economic effects of the divorce or separation on kids and ensure both parental units remain as involved as possible. Parents may not agree with their child support, custody or visitation orders, but they are legally bound to honor them. 

Stick to the visitation schedule 

If one parent withholds child support, the parent who retains custody must still abide by the visitation schedule. Failure to follow the visitation arrangement can result in the noncompliant spouse withholding child support payments seeking legal enforcement action against the custodial parent. The appropriate path of recourse is to pursue court involvement for enforcement. If there are concerns of danger for the kids, inform law enforcement, file a report and seek out a protection order, if necessary. Inform the courts right away. 

Keeping documentation of all violations can serve as evidence in child support payment enforcement. Though parents may decide to pursue their own agreements without the courts, enforcement actions always occur according to the terms of the court order. It is wise to request child support and visitation modification when circumstances warrant necessary changes.

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Accolades & Achievements

Brandon, Karen, Michael, Megan and Laura Are Proud To Have Achieved The Following Legal Accolades for Exemplary Legal Service.

*Karen Marvel was recognized in Texas Monthly in 2008-2019 as a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service)

**Karen Marvel is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization