Q: My ex-husband is way behind on his child support payments, but he still wants to see the kids. Do I have to let him see the kids even if he isn’t current on his child support obligations?
Yes, you do.
It may seem unfair. It may seem like your ex-husband gets to completely ignore his obligations to you and the children, but he stills gets to participate in the fun and joy of parenting. You’re stuck doing the day-to-day chores that have to be done, such as washing clothes, helping kids with homework, and driving them across town for soccer practice. You’re probably doing all of that while still struggling to make ends meet because he hasn’t paid his child support obligations in months. Meanwhile, he swoops in on a Saturday and treats the kids to a fun day at the zoo or a trip to an amusement park. It doesn’t seem right, does it?
But that’s the way it is. Child support is separate from child custody and visitation. That means that you cannot refuse to let your ex-husband see your children just because he has not made child support payments in months. (And, by the same token, your ex-husband wouldn’t be able to avoid paying his child support obligations simply because you kept him from seeing the kids.)
To learn more, you may want to speak to an experienced family law attorney. Paul Nathan is an experienced Marin County family law attorney. He represents women in Marin County child custody matters. To get in touch with him, contact the Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan at 415-341-1144 or by filling out our online contact form.