Serving Central Ohio Since 1983

Why not paying child support does not affect custody arrangements

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Child Custody

In Ohio, child custody and child support are different matters. Some parents think they are the same and that they can withhold visitation or custody from a parent who does not pay support.

However, it is not a good idea to do so and can result in legal issues. Parents who want to change custody arrangements should do so through approved means.

No direct impact on custody

Failure to pay child support does not directly affect child custody arrangements in Ohio. The court generally considers the best interests of the child when determining custody. The court focuses on factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s physical and emotional well-being and the ability of each parent to provide a stable environment.

Separate legal processes

Child support enforcement and custody determinations are separate legal processes. Nonpayment of child support can result in consequences such as wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension or even contempt of court charges. However, it does not automatically lead to a change in custody arrangements.

While financial support is important, it is not the sole factor in determining custody. Courts aim to ensure that children have meaningful relationships with both parents whenever possible, regardless of child support payments.

Legal remedies

If a parent fails to pay child support, the custodial parent can seek legal remedies through the child support enforcement system. However, this process is separate from custody proceedings.

Understanding the differences between child custody and child support is important. Parents who behave as if they are the same issue risk getting themselves in trouble with the legal system.