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Can a parent pay child support and be denied visitation?

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2022 | Child Custody |

You pay child support timely, but the other parent denies you visitation.  Is this legal?

This is likely not legal.  There are exceptions to this rule, but they are rare and happen only in extreme cases.

Who pays child support?

In the state of Washington, both parents must contribute to the basic needs of their minor children such as food, shelter and clothing. This obligation normally ends when the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later.

Regardless of whether a parent timely pays support, each party must honor the parenting plan made in court. However, if the custodial parent believes the child would be in danger by being alone with the other adult, they could deny visitation.  However, they should notify the proper authorities of the situation and file a petition for a modification to the parenting plan, as opposed to simply violating the parenting plan

Why would a court deny a parent visitation?

Courts are hesitant to revoke a parent’s time with a child, as spending time with both a mother and father generally proves healthy for kids. A court may revoke or limit a parent’s visitation rights to a child if it believes the child to be in danger with the other parent.  Some of the most common examples of this include:

  • Violence to the child or to other persons, especially domestic violence
  • Abuse of substances, especially illegal ones
  • Mental health issues that are not appropriately controlled
  • A dangerous person (perhaps a new significant other) being permitted unsupervised contact with the child

Barring extreme situations, even if you are delinquent in your support payments, you have a right to visitation with your child.