I can’t afford to pay child support right now; can I still spend time with my children as outlined in my court order?

Unless there is a court order restricting your time with your child, the answer is yes. Child support and visitation rights are separate issues in the eyes of the court. Both parents must obey the child support portion of the order and the possession portion of the order.

If your court order has a possession order, the custodial parent must make your child available to you for parenting time. The custodial parent has to follow the possession (parenting time) order, even if you cannot pay child support.

If the custodial parent refuses to let you see your child because you are not paying child support, you can file a motion to enforce the access and possession portion of your order. There are potential legal consequences to moms and dads who do not obey the court orders.

Noncustodial parents can apply for legal help enforcing an existing possession order if they meet certain eligibility requirements. To find out more about enforcing a visitation order, go to Enforcement of Visitation.

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