Can I Withhold Payment of Child Support if I am Not Getting Enough Parenting Time with my Children?

Child support and parenting time can present real challenges. At Lyons & Associates, P.C., we specialize in all aspects of matrimonial and family law, and we often get asked about the interplay between money for your kinds and time with your kids.

The short answer is “no.” Courts do not like it when parents try to withhold money or time.

Whether it is during the initial negotiation towards settlement of a divorce, or after judgment has been entered, many parents today find themselves feeling slighted when it comes to the amount of parenting time they are being offered or are able to spend with their children.

More times than not, the parent who feels slighted is the one with whom the children are not primarily residing with, or in legal terms, is the Parent of Alternate Residence (PAR). In most cases, along with the title of PAR usually comes the responsibility to pay child support to your ex-spouse, who is more than likely the Parent of Primary Residence (PPR).

Despite the common perception that child support and parenting time are interchangeable issues that can be leveraged against one another in order to achieve your desired result, the reality is that, legally, the two are viewed as separate issues. In fact, attempting to withhold support will most likely blow up in your face and result in not only a judge reinforcing your support obligation and requiring you to pay arrears on any support payments you missed, but also may potentially result in the judge issuing sanctions due to your unconcealed bad faith in withholding support. Therefore, in the end, you are only harming yourself, as well as your children.

The best option if you feel you are not receiving enough parenting time is to have an open and honest conversation with your ex-spouse about being able to expand your parenting time with your children or, in the alternative, to file the proper application with the court. If your application is successful and you are indeed granted more parenting time, it is at that time that your child support will be adjusted accordingly.

Contact Lyons & Associates

If you have any questions about child support or parenting time, call one of our skilled attorneys at Lyons & Associates, P.C., by calling 908-575-9777. You can also fill out our online intake form.