Child support is definitely not payment for visitation. When a parent involves the children with support issues, all it does is causes the child to suffer because it exposes them to matters that they should be kept out of.
Unfortunately, the laws regarding child support are not always fair. Both parents should be responsible for the financial support of the children regardless of who they spend the most time with. If a parent chooses to walk away from being a part of their child’s life, they still are financially responsible for their upbringing. The problem in many cases is that the child support does not always go towards the child.
The fairness of how child support payments are determined is often based upon formulas which make it difficult for the non-custodial parent to take care of themselves. Of course the child needs to be provided for but when the parent who does not have custody cannot afford to keep a roof over their own head because of child support payments the matter needs to be re-evaluated. Often in these cases, the custodial parent lives quite well.
There are always exceptions to the rule. Many parents hide income in order to pay less child support. Don’t they realize that they are hurting their children? Unfortunately, too many divorced parents see cheating on child support payments as a way to get back at their former spouse. Child support is not supposed to be about the parent, it is for the child.
On the other side, many custodial parents suffer financially because the non-custodial parent either refuses to pay child support or lies about their income in order to reduce the amount they have to pay.
Whatever the case, it is the children who suffer. Society is burdened by more families needing government assistance and overall it hurts all of us.
Visitation and support are separate issues and should be kept that way. There are so many children who are being hurt by parents who try to mess with visitation schedules because there are support issues. When a parent is behind on child support payments, the proper course is to use the laws in place to make sure that your child receives the financial support due them. Not allowing the parent who owes money to see the child, hurts the relationship between the parent and child.
Sometimes the reason a parent falls behind in payments is not due to them being vindictive, it is a matter of life circumstances such as job loss. Granted there are parents who play games with support payments, but each case should be evaluated and not looked at as being black and white.