My Ex Won’t Let Me See Our Child. Can I Withhold Child Support?

By Law Office of Karen S. Brown

Every child has a right to enjoy the love and care of both parents. When a marriage ends in divorce, however, the court might grant primary custody to one parent as the other pays child support. But what if your ex is interfering with an existing visitation order? Can you get back by withholding child support?

The simple answer is no. You may not withhold child support if your ex is interfering with your visitation rights. 

Child Support and Child Custody Are Two Separate Matters 

The court takes the best interests of the child very seriously. That’s why, in the event of a divorce, the court will intervene and rule on the child’s post-divorce living arrangements. And this is where child support and custody orders come in. 

That said, your ex cannot unilaterally bar you from seeing the child. If they do, they would be violating a custody order, and there are consequences for this. Also, you cannot get back at your ex by withholding child support. This too would be a violation of a court order and the consequences can include paycheck garnishment or even incarceration in extreme cases. 

What Can You Do if Your Ex Won’t Let You See Your Child?

Of course, the thought of your ex blocking you from seeing your child can be frustrating, to say the least. However, you should never take the law into your own hands. Instead, gather your evidence and bring the matter to the attention of the court. While gathering your evidence, be as comprehensive as possible. Note down the specific dates you didn’t see the child as well as the explanations (or excuses) they gave. Subject to the circumstances of your case, the court may be open to custody modification. 

Child support and custody orders can be very contentious, especially if the divorce is acrimonious. Understanding your obligations and entitlements as the paying parent can help you assert your rights if your ex is barring you from seeing your child.