Visitation and Child Support are two issues that are so close that its often assumed that you have to have one to get the other. In the legal world these are two separate issues. This often becomes a point of contention between divorced or divorcing couples. Divorce does not stop either parent from being a parent.
With Divorce at an all-time high, these issues are becoming a common in households across the country. This often causes a tug of war with the children stuck in the middle. Parents are not legally able to withhold one to get the other. While many custodial parents may feel they are justified to withhold visitation when a non-custodial parent does not pay child support, many times the judge will see things in a different light. It also goes for parents with holding child support for visitation. Both of these issues leaves the children hurting long after the ink has dried on the court orders.
Visitation is not a weapon it is a responsibility.
Visitation is a court order that outlines which days each parent has physical custody of the child. Visitation is a responsibility not a privilege as Nevada Judge Sandra Pomrenze likes to state. Visitation is very important to the well-being of the child and should be followed no matter the state of child support. When visitation does not happen, it places a huge burden on the children. No matter what went on during the marriage or the divorce, the children are going to love both parents unconditionally. Custodial parents need to make every effort to have the children waiting on time for the visitation with their non-custodial parent. Just the same that non-custodial parents need to be available for each visitation. Custodial parents who interfere with visitation can/and should be severely punished. Non-custodial parents should be punished for not showing up for their children as well.
The children have every right to expect to see their non-custodial parent on the days that are afforded them in the visitation schedule. If a non-custodial parent does not show, who holds them accountable for the damage done? No one, the only recourse per the judge is to take the visitation time away so the children do not get hurt time and time again by an absent parent. Non-custodial parents should be held to the same standard as the custodial parent as far as being held in contempt for visitation violations.
Child Support is not pay for view.
Child Support is awarded to one party in most custody cases. Many states have formulas that are used to figure Child support, based on how many children, income and time share. Nevada has $100 per child per month minimum along with their formula that is a percentage of the non-custodial parent’s income. Child Support is not optional; it’s not something you can pay when you get around to it.
Both parents are responsible for the children brought into this world. That responsibility does not change with divorce. Non-custodial parents cannot take the attitude well “I was not awarded full custody so let the custodial parent pay for everything”. This attitude leaves the children missing many things that would make their lives better.
If someone can’t be responsible for their children, then take everything as punishment. That includes bank accounts, licensees, cars, etc. If a child has to go without support, the parent should go without as well. Maybe this will open the eyes of “dead Beat” parents, and they will decide to put their children first. There needs to be punishments for non-payment of support and for non-visitation. No parent should have to shoulder the entire burden of raising a child at every turn by themselves. Both parents need to be held accountable for the care and support of the child equally.
Bottom line is Visitation is about having time with your child. Child support is financially supporting your child. Each child needs both of these. Each person is responsible for the children they brought into the world. It does not matter if its inconvenient or not they are your children and should come first at every turn.