Normally I gain my inspiration from phone calls I get from potential clients, or even from clients that are experiencing current custody issues. One recent question was about whether or not the mother, or the other parent, can keep me from spending time with my child if I don't pay child support. Oftentimes, this question comes up when a parent, normally it's a guy, has fallen significantly behind in their child support obligation. It's very, very important if you have a child support obligation, you need to make sure that you pay that obligation and if you can't meet that obligation, you need to ask the court for some sort of modification to that child support obligation. So that's the most important thing and try to pay what you can but pay in accordance with the court order.
Can the other parent deny you visits because you're not paying your child support? The answer is no, they can't. Oftentimes, they’ll try to use that as leverage against you to make you pay. The law is very clear in New Mexico that, because you're not paying your child support, it's not a reason for the other parent and to deny your visits. As a matter of fact, if you go in front of a judge and you complained that the other parent is doing that to you, that other parent will get in trouble with the court.
Oftentimes, the parent that's not paying their child support obligation and they're experiencing these problems, it's usually because they don't have court-ordered time-sharing. When there's not court-ordered time-sharing, the other parent will use not paying of child support as leverage because if you don't have a court order establishing well-defined periods of responsibility and visitation and time-sharing, then the other parent can use it as leverage, although they shouldn't. They can use it as leverage because there's no court-ordered time-sharing. A parent may say, “well you haven't paid me what you're supposed to” or “you haven't paid me enough” or even “I want more child support than what's ordered by the court” and they deny you visits because there's no court-ordered visitation. If you find yourself in that situation where you do have a child support court-ordered obligation and the other parent is preventing your visits because you don't have court order time-sharing, then you need to go to court and take action so that you can get court-ordered time-sharing, so the other parent can’t play these games with you and the children that deserve to spend time with the other parent. If your in a situation where you legitimately cannot afford your child support payments, or there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the amount was set, you can also file a motion to modify those payments.
For help with any of these issues, please chat with someone now on our website or call (505)-317-4455 to speak with one of our experienced Albuquerque divorce lawyers.