If you are a father who wants to see your child more often, one of the things that you need to do is to look at your child support obligation. Have you been paying it on time? Is it up to date?
If you have a history of paying on time and taking care of your child’s needs, then that will look good when you go to court to seek an adjustment of your child custody time. If you are behind on payments, requesting a modification of your custody schedule may not be in your best interests.
Why does being current on child support matter for custody issues?
While the other parent can’t bar you from seeing your child because you’re behind on child support payments, the court does not have to be as kind. The judge in your case can certainly deny your request to modify your custody arrangements and see your children more if you have a history of failed payments.
Why? Not making payments on time shows that you are not supporting your child. If you’re struggling to make payments, you should ask the court to modify your child support payments to better fit your financial situation. Doing that, and then getting current on your support, shows that you take your obligation seriously and will take steps to correct issues when they arise. This looks much more positive than simply not paying or not paying enough.
Asking for more custody means you need to show you’re responsible
If you don’t have much custody time now and want more, you need to show the court that you put your child first. You need to show that you are responsible and take your obligations seriously. By not paying child support or not providing enough support, you may actually be showing the court that you don’t have the financial backing needed to have more custody time or that you don’t take the court’s order to pay seriously. This looks bad, and it may result in penalties for failing to pay.
This can be a complex situation to deal with. Look into your rights, and be prepared to answer questions about missed support payments if you want to change your custody arrangements.