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Do custody violations mean you can refuse child support payments?

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2022 | Family Law

During your divorce, the court divides up both custody and support obligations between you and your spouse. Custody time gets divided fairly evenly, but you earn more money than your ex, so you are ordered to pay child support.

However, your ex quickly becomes dissatisfied with that level of custody. They want to see the children more often, but you don’t want to change the schedule. You also want a fair amount of time with your kids. Eventually, your ex takes things into their own hands and they begin violating your rights by refusing to turn the children over on the schedule.

To force them to comply with the court order, you tell them you’re not going to pay child support. Can you do this? 

This is still illegal 

You may feel as if you have no option but to withhold child support until they agree to the custody terms and follow the arrangement, but you are legally prohibited from doing so. Both custody and support are ordered by the court and those orders have to be followed.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t modify either one. It is possible to change the custody schedule or the amount of support that is owed. But those things have to be done through the court with an official modification and a new court order. Neither party can simply make these decisions on their own. 

Likewise, your ex is violating your rights and you may need to modify the agreement so that they cannot do so. In some cases, the court will remove custody rights. But, again, you can’t do this on your own.

If you are involved in a complicated situation where your rights are in jeopardy as a parent, make sure that you know what options you have.