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Can you compel child support payments by refusing visitation?

One of the most difficult lessons for recently divorced people to learn is this: just because something is ordered in the divorce decree or settlement does not mean that it will happen. For example, just because the Columbus family law judge has ordered your spouse to pay $500 per month in child support per month does not mean that he or she will make those payments in full, on time, every month. And unfortunately, there may be little you can do about it, short of going back to court and seeking enforcement of that decree.

In this situation, it may be tempting to simply refuse to comply with another part of the divorce decree - parenting time, for example - in order to force your former spouse's compliance with the child support order. But that may not be a good idea, and this is why.

It is important to understand that the various issues within family law, such as child support, child custody, visitation and parenting time, are relatively unconnected. This means that, in most situations, taking action in one area will not compel any action in another. In fact, it may actually end up hurting you, because most judges frown upon parents taking matters into their own hands rather than going to through the court.

Fortunately, the failure to pay child support is a fairly easy issue to resolve. Child support is managed by the Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agency, which conducts reviews to determine whether the appropriate amount of support is being paid. If it is not, the agency takes action.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Child support, visitation not linked," Jeffrey A. and Andrew Grossman, May 6, 2012

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