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Can a Parent Refuse Visitation if Child Support is Not Paid in Wisconsin?

When parents divorce in Wisconsin, both parents are usually expected to spend time with their children; children often reside primarily with one parent and have visitation with the other. And, the non-custodial parent often has to pay child support. If a child support order is in place and you are not getting payments, there is something you can do about it. An experienced family law attorney will help you resolve issues and take legal steps to obtain the money your child is supposed to receive.

Child Custody

When a couple divorces, the many issues of their settlement will be resolved. The couple is expected to work out the major financial and other matters. One of the most important decisions you can make is where the child will reside. It is always required that you do whatever is best for the child. Physical custody is a term that applies to the location where a child lives. Both parents usually have legal custody, which is the right to make decisions on behalf of the child; and also often share physical custody. The child may live primarily with one parent and have visitation with the other. Both parents are responsible for paying for the general costs of their children.

Child Support

When a child lives with one parent, the other parent still needs to provide for the costs of their child’s upbringing. This is done through child support payments. The court determines child support payments based on a formula and a number of factors. The judge makes an order for child support. Once in place, the only way to change it is through the court. A child support order is a legal order that must be followed. When one parent fails to pay support according to an order, the other parent can take action through the courts. The parent is not allowed to refuse visitation if child support is not paid.

What to Do About Unpaid Child Support

If a parent is not paying court-ordered child support, the custodial parent can file a court action. The parent will need to go before a judge, who will determine child support enforcement. Sometimes, the parent will face a fine or spend time in jail for contempt of court. The state will take steps to collect back child support that is owed. Initially, the state may set up a payment plan to get the payments back on track. The payments will usually include interest. If support still goes unpaid, they can take further action to obtain it. This could include wage garnishment or other methods such as withholding tax refunds or even confiscating property.

If you are owed child support that is unpaid or in arrears, do not take matters into your own hands. You cannot legally refuse visitation, even if the other parent has not been providing for their child. Seek legal guidance from our legal team today at (608) 784-8310 or online.

Published July 26, 2022
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