When a couple with children goes through a separation or divorce, child custody and visitation rights become key topics to address. Child support is a financial obligation that a non-custodial parent has towards their child. On the other hand, visitation rights determine the non-custodial parent’s ability to spend time with their child.
In some cases, one parent may find themselves denied visitation rights due to various reasons. However, parents must understand that denied visitation does not mean they can stop paying child support.
The legal perspective
The North Carolina Judicial Branch states that visitation and child support are two distinct matters. The court considers these issues separately. Therefore, a parent cannot use one as leverage against the other. Child support is primarily aimed at providing for the child’s basic needs, including food, clothing, education and healthcare. Regardless of visitation rights, the custodial parent still incurs these expenses on behalf of the child. Denying visitation does not relieve the non-custodial parent of their financial obligation to support their child’s well-being.
Failure to pay child support can have severe legal consequences. Courts take non-payment of child support seriously. They may impose penalties such as wage garnishment, fines or even imprisonment. By honoring their financial obligations, parents can avoid these legal repercussions and ensure the child’s welfare.
Fostering positive parent-child relationships
While visitation and child support are separate issues, it is important to recognize that both contribute to a healthy parent-child relationship. Denying visitation can negatively impact the child’s emotional well-being and hinder the non-custodial parent’s ability to establish a meaningful connection with their child. By continuing to pay child support, the non-custodial parent demonstrates their commitment to their child’s overall well-being, even in the absence of visitation rights.
Visitation and child support each serve a distinct purpose. By honoring both responsibilities, parents can contribute to their child’s overall welfare and maintain a positive parent-child relationship, regardless of visitation arrangements.