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The simple answer to this question is “yes.”
The two issues of child support and visitation under custody laws are separate and are not to be considered together. Remember that in child custody situations, the best interest of the child is taken into account.
Most courts agree that regardless of the payment of support or lack thereof, it is usually always in the best interest of the child or children to see the non-custodial parent as frequently and liberally as possible. While this can be extremely frustrating to the custodial parent, who has the responsibility of providing for the child on a day-to-day basis, courts will usually always admonish the custodial parent to grant such visitation.
In fact, custodial parents that hinder visitation based upon the failure to pay support may face a change of custody petition because of the frustration of visitation. There are other remedies that a custodial parent may take against a non-paying non-residential parent but the withholding of visitation should not be used in that way.
Obviously not every case is exactly the same; should you feel that you have a unique situation, consult with a child custody lawyer about the matter to determine whether or not any other actions could be or should be taken
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|