Personal Injury Lawyers
Does a parent who doesn’t get visitation rights pay child support? Some former couples have a difficult time communicating, especially when it comes to dealing with issues involving their children. Therefore, the easy thing to do is not speak and to allow things – like non-payment of child support or visitation refusals – to slip by. Does paying child support give you the right to see your kids?
When a married couple splits up, they go through family court to get a divorce decree. It is also in family court where legal custody, physical custody, the parenting plan, and child support gets rolled into one. Thus, you may believe that modifying any one of those post-divorce parenting documents necessitates a change in the others.
Child custody is a legal issue that is decided based on a few factors. The judge considers things such as the suitability of the parents, the amount of time each has spent with the child, and what is in the best interest of the child. This last prong is the most important to a family court judge. Legal custody has to do with which parent is the one who makes all the legal decisions for the child. In many instances, a court will grant the parents joint legal custody, meaning they each have an equal say in parenting.
The next issue that typically gets resolved is a visitation schedule. In some states, this is known as a “parenting plan.” It sets out the amount of time the child spends with each parent. This may or may not be equal. How it is drafted depends on the parents’ schedules, the children’s schedules, and how custody was divided.
Child support is set by state guidelines and involves a total calculation of the parents’ incomes, the expenses — such as insurance and child care — and the state guidelines based on these factors. Even if a person does not get custody of a child, they are still responsible for paying child support. If a parent doesn’t get custody or visitation at all, they still have to pay child support. On the flipside, if a parent loses a job and does not have the money to pay support for some time, visitation cannot get withheld because of it.
Child support and visitation are two separate issues that may wind up needing a judge to decide. If you pay child support but do not get to see your kids, there has to be a legal order granting you access. On the other hand, just because you are getting child support, does not mean your ex can start seeing the kids. Speaking with a qualified child support lawyer, like a child support lawyer in Rockville, MD, can help you sort out these differences.
Thanks to The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into whether paying child support also grants a parent visitation rights.