Is Your Child's Other Parent Behind on Child Support Payments?

Say you're the custodial parent, and the noncustodial parent has been ordered to pay child support but isn't making the payments. You have the right to deny visitation time until the other parent pays up, right? Wrong.

Parents in New York should know that custodial parents can get into legal hot water for denying the other parent's visitation rights, just as noncustodial parents can face legal penalties for failing to pay child support. With these issues in mind, let's consider some things parents can do if a child support order isn't being met.

First, if a noncustodial parent stays involved in the child's daily life, then the noncustodial parent may be more likely to keep making payments. Or if payments have stopped coming in each month, then keeping the noncustodial parent in the picture is probably a better way of encouraging or convincing the parent to start making payments again.

In some cases, when the noncustodial parent's financial situation changes for the worse, he or she can seek a child support modification. If the paying parent gets back on firm financial footing, then the child support order can be modified again to reflect the current situation.

Paying and receiving parents alike should also remember that at least some amount of child support is better than no child support at all. In other words, if the noncustodial parent can make a portion of the ordered payment but not all of it, then that is what the paying parent should do.

If the noncustodial parent continues to miss monthly payments, then the custodial parent can petition the court for child support enforcement. For more on that, please visit our child support page.

Source: Daily Finance, "What to Do When Your Ex Won't (or Can't) Pay Child Support," Geoff Williams, Nov. 21, 2013