Spouses can go through a roller coaster of conflicts during and after a divorce. Divorce is stressful for almost everyone, including both parents and children. When things go wrong and we feel denied of our rights, like visitation hours, some people feel justified to withhold child support. The reality is that withholding child support comes with legal consequences and courts can take action to make sure child support is paid in full. The good news is that you can also enforce visitation rights when they are denied. Talking to a Tennessee Family Law lawyer can assist you if you have experienced any of these situations.
Consequences of Withholding Child Support
Family courts have the power to enforce child support in the event that a spouse is withholding child support. Noncustodial parents who are required to pay child support can face consequences enforced by the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program if they fail to make child support payments by the scheduled deadline or if they stop making payments completely.
One step taken by the CSE is to initiate immediate income withholding for the noncustodial parent. This action can withhold the noncustodial parent’s income, worker’s compensation, disability benefits, pensions, bonuses, and retirement benefits. This is done to prevent significant distress for the custodial parent and any children involved.
When a noncustodial parent completely stops making child support payments, the CSE can start taking additional steps like using federal income tax offsets, freezing bank accounts, denying passports, seizing property, and placing liens on the noncustodial parent’s property. This can greatly disrupt the noncustodial parent’s financial stability.
The custodial parent also has the option to take the noncustodial parent to court to enforce the child support orders in other ways. This may come with legal consequences.
How to Respond to Withheld Visitation Rights
You may be wondering how you can restore your visitation rights without taking other steps like withholding certain rights from your ex-spouse. Some people think that visitation rights can be denied if they were not explicitly stated or ordered by the court. However, the truth is the opposite. Visitation rights can only be denied by one parent to another parent if the court explicitly ordered a denial of visitation rights for justified reasons like abuse.
When your ex-spouse denies you visitation rights, be sure to notify the family court. The judge can order your ex-spouse with an order of indirect contempt of court. This means the court has deemed that your ex-spouse has acted with misconduct and steps can be taken to enforce visitation.
Family Law Lawyer in Tennessee
Dealing with not being allowed to see your own child can be a frustrating experience. Contact Davis Law Firm at 865-354-3333 today to talk to a Family Law lawyer in Tennessee. Our offices are located in McMinnville, Johnson City, Sparta, Kingston, Crossville, Cookeville, and the surrounding areas. We can help you defend your rights when you have been denied visitation rights, child support, or child custody without sufficient legal justification.