Can I Withhold Visitation Until He Starts Paying Child Support?

Question: I live in Alpharetta and my former husband lives in Cumming. We have divorced three years ago when we lived in Roswell. He has visitation with our two children that the court ordered. The problem is that he hasn't paid child support in over six months. Now the bills are adding up pretty fast. Things like clothing, sports, after-school activities, and even food are starting to be a problem to pay for. I'm worried about the future and if he'll ever pay again.

I don't think he should be able to see the kids because he's not paying child support. It's just not fair that he's not paying to support the children but he gets to see them. Can I not let him visit with the kids until he starts paying child support? I think if I did that then he'd start paying. I know he has money because he bought a new car and plays golf at The Manor in Milton a lot (my friend saw him there).

Answer: Under Georgia law what you have described are two separate rights. You have the right to be paid child support and he has the right to visitation with the children. You cannot make visitation conditional upon paying child support. Your remedy is to file a motion asking the court to hold him in contempt for non-payment of child support. Ultimately, if he fails to pay, a judge can order him to be incarcerated. A judge can also order that his wages be garnished to satisfy his child support obligation. You risk court sanction if you unilaterally (without a court order) withhold visitation.

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