If you are going through a divorce, you are concerned about your children. Obtaining a child visitation schedule that works for you and your children comes first, but you will also need child support to help ensure that you will be able to continue to provide for your children’s basic needs. It is completely natural to see the two components – the visitation schedule and the child support payments – as being inextricably intertwined. This, however, is not how the law sees it – consult with an experienced Central Texas family law attorney today.
In the state of Texas, the court is charged with putting the best interests of the children first when it comes to divorce. Barring extreme circumstances, the best interests of the children always include spending time with both parents, which relates to the visitation schedule. Child support, on the other hand, relates to providing for the children’s financial needs, including food and shelter, health care, and education. While both of these components are elemental to your children’s ongoing health and well-being, they are not interconnected in the eyes of the law.
Child support and visitation schedules are separate issues, and the State of Texas is explicit on this point. As a parent, it is impossible to compartmentalize your children’s lives in this manner, but the court strives to ensure that one is not used as a bludgeon against the other if discrepancies arise regarding the visitation schedule and/or the child support arrangements.
This distinction can have important implications for divorced parents:
- If your spouse does not adhere to the child support payment schedule, you cannot retaliate by withholding visitation rights.
- If your spouse does not allow you court-ordered visitation time, you cannot retaliate by withholding child support.
While such retaliation may seem like a powerful motivational tool to you, the court sees these types of retaliation as being detrimental to the children involved:
- When visitation is withheld, the children lose time with one parent.
- When child support is withheld, the children lose important financial resources.
Enlist the Court’s Help
If your children's other parent is not adhering to court-ordered child support payments or to a court-ordered visitation schedule, do not take matters into your own hands. Your own retaliation is unlikely to get you anything other than being found in contempt of court. The court has mechanisms in place to help ensure that your ex complies with court rulings.
If Your Ex Is Not Complying with Child Custody Arrangements, Consult with an Experienced Central Texas Family Law Attorney
Divorce may be hardest of all on children, and you want to do everything you can to protect them throughout the process. Attorney Brett H. Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas understands your concerns and is here to help. Mr. Pritchard has the experience, knowledge, and commitment to advocate for you and your children’s best interests. For more information, please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.