If you’re a divorced parent in Florida, you know that the post-divorce situation can sometimes be difficult. And that’s especially true if your ex-spouse isn’t keeping up with their child support payments.
After months of frustration over late or non-paid support, you might be tempted to withhold visitation from them, thinking that might finally motivate them to pay up. But you should think twice about this. Withholding visitation for non-paid child support can cause you problems with the judge handling your case.
Why withholding visitation is a bad idea
The problem with withholding visitation rights from your former partner is that the law treats visitation rights and child support payments as completely separate issues. While it seems logical to think they’re connected, that’s not the way a judge will interpret things.
If you withhold visitation after a spouse is late or non-responsive with child support, there are now two breaches of the divorce ruling instead of one. Both your ex-spouse’s non-payment, and your refusal to honor the visitation arrangement.
Also, in the eyes of the law, visitation is not just a benefit for your ex-spouse, it’s also a benefit for the child. By refusing visitation rights, you will be perceived as taking away your child’s right to develop a relationship with their parent.
What you can do instead
If you’ve tried to get your ex-spouse to pay their child support with no success, it’s time to contact the Office of Child Support Enforcement.
This agency can levy any measures to get the money you’re owed. This includes everything from wage garnishments to potential jail time.
While it may be tempting to use withholding visitation to compel your ex-spouse to pay child support, it’s a move that may very well backfire on you. Allow the courts to enforce the child support ruling.