Child Support FAQ

Can I Deny Visitation If The Other Parent Fails To Pay Child Support?

Generally, a custodial parent may not legally deny the non-custodial parent's visitation time for failure to pay child support. Generally, any denial of visitation time must be approved by the court. If the non-custodial parent repeatedly violates a custody or support order, the non-custodial parent may ask the court to intervene and address any issues of non-payment of support.

Denying the non-custodial parent their visitation time without court approval could backfire on the custodial parent, as the non-custodial parent could then seek a custody modification that is more favorable to the non-custodial parent.

What Are My Options For Child Support Enforcement?

If the other parent of your child is failing to pay court-ordered child support, you have multiple legal options for collecting the support your child needs. Before taking any action on your own, contact a family lawyer at Westover Law Group to discuss the best options for achieving your goals.

Depending on the circumstances, your options for child support enforcement may include:

  • Asking the district attorney to serve the other parent with papers that instruct the other parent to meet with the district attorney and set up a payment plan.
  • Wage garnishment: This allows for child support payments to be taken directly out of the non-custodial parent's paycheck.
  • Withholding the non-custodial parent's federal tax refund: The state can intercept the refund and use it to cover delinquent support payments.
  • Suspension or revocation of driver's license: A non-custodial parent's driver's license and professional licenses can be suspended or revoked for failure to pay child support.
  • Restricting the non-custodial parent's passport: The parent who fails to pay would be prevented from renewing the passport and leaving the country for any reason.
  • Contempt of court: A non-custodial parent may face fines or jail time if a judge finds the parent in contempt of court.
  • Jail: This is a rarely used option, as being in jail generally prevents the non-custodial parent from meeting the objective of making child support payments. Still, in some extreme cases, parents face jail time for failing to pay child support.

Can Child Support Be Modified?

Yes, but only under certain circumstances. For example, if the non-custodial parent suffers a disabling injury or loses a job, the parent may request a downward modification of child support to reflect the parent's current financial situation.

Likewise, if the non-custodial parent receives a job promotion or otherwise experiences a boost in income, the custodial parent may request an upward child support modification to reflect the paying parent's current situation.

In general, to modify a child support order, you must petition the court that granted the order, and you must prove that circumstances have changed so that a change in child support is needed. Examples of changes in circumstances include:

  • Losing a job
  • Either parent's changing jobs
  • Child's injury or illness, requiring medical treatment
  • The child's changing needs
  • Changes in child custody
  • Serious injury to either parent, including permanent disability
  • Custodial parent's remarrying

Contact Westover Law Group

For families throughout California, child support is a critical aspect of properly raising children and providing for their needs. If you need legal guidance in matters of child support, contact us today for a free, confidential consultation. Call us in Murrieta at 951-290-3268 or contact us via email. We advise and represent family law clients throughout Southern California.