Divorce can result in hostile feelings, especially if one of the spouses is left with bitterness about the entire ordeal. If there are children involved, an angry parent may decide to use them against the other parent. Whether it is about making visitation difficult, demanding more money, or refusing to pay child support, parents may try to get back at each other by using the kids as leverage. The entire thing may result in hurt feelings between children and parents and strain the bonds that tie them. It helps if you understand how child support and visitation overlap. This way if you become the victim of a rage campaign, you know you are on solid ground.
Child Support Calculation and Timesharing
In many states, visitation is called “timesharing,” and during a divorce, the parents must work out a time sharing agreement. The number of overnights with each parent may help establish the child support amount, but it is not the only factor. Things like income, child care, and medical insurance also form the basis of the figure one parent must pay the other. Therefore, believing that it is only time spent with children that sets the amount of money is false.
Change in Circumstance and Child Support
As time goes by, situations change. Income may rise or fall, and children’s needs change as they grow. While they may no longer need daycare, they may now have larger appetites or have higher after school activity fees. Parents will hopefully work together to address the changing needs of children, but in some situations, this is not possible. Therefore, a formal modification of child support may have to be initiated to recalculate the amount up or down. If the number of overnights has changed either way and there is historical data to prove the pattern, this may also come into play.
Child Support as Leverage in Visitation
Other than calculation, paying child support does not automatically guarantee you will have your children. The opposite is also true. If you can’t pay the amount the other parent is demanding, it does not give them the right to withhold your children from you. The courts do not look kindly on parents who try to use the children as leverage against the other. Parents who do this on either side are usually not favored in child support or visitation modifications done in front of a judge.
Regardless of what side of the issue you fall on, a family lawyer, like a family lawyer in Rockville, MD, may be able to offer services to get you relief.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into the correlation between child support and visitation.