Going through the child custody process to get an order for your ex to legally have to pay child support can be difficult enough for Pennsylvania residents. When your ex decides that they’re no longer going to hold up their end of the custody order, you likely want to do something to force them to pay. However, withholding their visitation rights shouldn’t be one of them.
Visitation vs. child support payments
When it comes to laws regarding child custody, visitation and child support payments are two very different parts of the law. While you may think of them as dependent on one another, that’s not how the law sees it. Yes, your ex is violating the law by not paying the child support that they’re legally supposed to. However, if you withhold their visitation with your child, you’ll be violating the law as well.
You owe it to your child
Just because your ex may not pay child support, that doesn’t mean that they can’t create a healthy relationship with your child. It’s important to realize that you need to think about your child’s best interests. Children who grow up with the ability to have healthy relationships with both of their parents are shown to have fewer mental health issues in their adult years.
The court is always concerned as to what solution is in the best interest of your children. In the court’s eyes, they want a child to develop relationships with both parents, assuming they are not in any sort of harm when doing so. This is why visitation and child support payments are considered separate issues in a court of law.
When your ex decides that they’re no longer going to pay child support, it can be frustrating. Withholding visitation may seem like a good option to get them to pay. However, it’s both illegal and will be harmful to your child’s relationships with their other parent.