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Can you withhold visitation from an ex who is not paying child support?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2022 | Child Support

When a relationship ends in a divorce or separation, two of the most important issues the court will take an interest in are the child’s living arrangement as well as child support. Once these issues are litigated and judgments pronounced, both parties are required to obey them.

If your ex falls behind on child support, it can be tempting to think that they no longer have a right to see their child. However, they do. Trying to deny your ex their court-ordered visitation and parenting rights can land you in trouble.

Child support and parenting time are distinct issues

Texas law treats parenting time and child support as two separate issues. You cannot limit a parent’s access to their child because of failure to pay child support. Doing so can attract the following penalties:

  • Modification of the existing custody arrangement to make up for missed visitations
  • Fines and requirements to pay attorney fees
  • Permanent modification of the custody and visitation order
  • Incarceration and/or change of primary custody in extreme cases

Enforcing Texas child support orders

There are several options at your disposal if your ex has fallen behind in their child support payments. First, you and your ex can agree to modify the existing child support amount and deposit the agreement in court. However, if this is not possible, you can petition the court to enforce the existing order. Some of the strategies the court can use to enforce a child support order include:

  • Issuing a lien on their property
  • Garnishing their paycheck
  • Intercepting their tax refunds
  • Revoking their driver’s license
  • Criminal prosecution and incarceration in extreme cases

Find out how you can protect your interests while pursuing your ex for child support payments.