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Withholding Child Support Payments

If the recipient of child support withholds parenting time, can the payor withhold child support payments?

Heidi Ann Lepp’s Answer:

The short answer to this question is “no.” A child is entitled to receive financial support from his/her parent regardless of whether or not parenting time is occurring. As a result, child support and parenting time are considered to be separate and distinct issues even though they do impact each other. Child support must still be paid even if one is not exercising any parenting time with the child. In that case, the amount of child support will generally be larger as there will be no overnight parenting time credit. This will accommodate the fact that the custodial parent has custody of the children all of the time and, therefore, will incur all of the expense associated with the children. Child support must also continue to be paid even if the recipient is preventing parenting time from occurring. In this case, the appropriate remedy for the non-custodial parent would be to apply to the Court for enforcement of the parenting time schedule, not to cease paying child support.

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