Friday, May 25, 2012

Support not linked to visitation

Yesterday's stupid newspaper advice column says:
Dear Girlfriend: Since your boyfriend is still paying child support, he may be entitled to regularly enforced visitation with his son. Also, some courts are beginning to recognize and address parental alienation. Please suggest to your boyfriend that he discuss his options with a lawyer who has experience in this area.
I am not including the original letter because it has contradictory facts. An online comment correctly points out:
And, Annies, PLEASE stop saying that child support and visitation rights are somehow tied together. Paying child support does not entitle you to visitation, having a child of whom you are not the custodial parent (with certain exceptions) does. Not paying child support is not a legal reason for your ex-spouse to withhold visitation, either. Child support and visitation with the non-custodial parent are the rights of the child, and you can't use one to enforce the other.
Yes, I pay child support, and I do not get to see my kids. That is the system. I occasionally meet someone who says, "How could you not get visitation? Just hold up the child support check until you get to see your kids." Nope. It does not work that way.

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