Child support payments are often a source of stress for adults after custody and payment amounts are finalized. It is not unusual for one or both partners to feel that the court ordered payment amount is unreasonable. Even if both parents are satisfied with the amount determined using Georgia’s child support calculation formula, a substantial change in personal circumstances may lead to a non-custodial parent falling behind in their payments. Knowing what not to do when the non-custodial parent stops paying child support can prevent you from ending up in a dangerous legal situation.
Do Not Make Threats
No matter how angry or frustrated you are, it is not a good idea to make threats. In cases in which a former partner is willfully withholding child support, threats will only make him or her feel as though his or her actions are justified. Losing control and sending your former partner threatening text messages, emails, or calling your ex to to force him or her to begin making payments can be used against you later on. Some partners will even intentionally antagonize a custodial parent hoping that he or she will commit wrongful acts that can be mentioned in future custody-related disputes.
Never Withhold Visitation
It is extremely important to remember that child support and child custody agreements are two entirely different legal issues. Even though a custody agreement may also document the court ordered child support amount, the visitation schedule is not connected to child support payments. If your ex stops making child support payments, he or she is still entitled to court ordered visitation. Failing to make your child available or claiming the child is sick, has another engagement, etc. could lead to your former partner initiating a contempt motion against you for violating the visitation agreement.
Avoid Bad Mouthing Your Ex
Not receiving child support can create a financially precarious situation for you and your child. When you are facing serious consequences because of the actions of your former partner, it is not unusual to want to discuss the situation with other people. Just remember that speaking in confidence to a close friend is not the same as complaining via social media. Publicly criticizing or shaming your ex, especially if your mutual children may see your complaints, can create a situation that makes your ex-partner feel alienated from your mutual children. Keeping your feelings private and not involving your children in the situation benefits everyone.
Knowing what not to do if your ex stops paying child support can help you avoid serious trouble, but ultimately it does not help you recoup the past due payments. When court ordered child support stops coming, it is in your best interest to contact a qualified child support attorney. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum understand the repercussions that can occur when child support payments stop coming, and we work hard to help you find a speedy resolution that avoids additional suffering for you or your children. Contact one of our Atlanta area offices today and schedule an appointment to discuss your unique situation.