Parents Cannot Withhold Visitation Due to Nonpayment of Child Support

I often get calls from clients asking if they can keep their child from seeing the other parent since he or she refuses to pay child support.  In short, the answer is no.  California courts view child support and child custody as two entirely separate issues.  Since they have no relationship to each other, a judge would not be happy to hear that a parent withheld a child from the other parent to force him or her to pay money.  Generally, the courts frown upon self-help techniques such as this.

Instead, it is best to seek court intervention.  If there is no court order for child support, the custodial parent should file a motion to obtain one.  Then, if the other parent is employed, he or she can ask that the other parent's wages be garnished so that support is paid directly by the parent's employer.  If there is already a...

Law Offices of Tess Reutzel