Child Support and Visitation are Independent of One Another
There are so many potential issues involved when examining the topic of child support that when combined with those of visitation, the dynamics and interactions between family members may become bogged down by emotion. At its core, child support is about finances, which also is a hot-button topic for many people. Add in two usually differing opinions, the splitting couple, and if the divorce proceedings are acrimonious, there may be a long and drawn out process for both parties. Without mediation helmed by a seasoned divorce attorney, the communication and conflict between the two parents can devolve into petty fighting and other issues.
A divorce attorney’s role can be more than just handling the legal issues, though they are of utmost importance. A divorce attorney can also fill the mediation role, holding a neutral and civil space to encourage and nurture studied communication and mature responsiveness. In situations where there are unprocessed emotions over legitimate or imagined grievances, the presence of a third party, such as a divorce lawyer or even respected family member, can go a long way to keeping communication and interaction relatively stress free.
Although the back and forth aspects of deciding child support amounts and ensuing details may seem all-consuming, mediation support and organization in the hashing out process can bring to the table some semblance of working system. Although there is a normal amount of sadness, stress and grief associated with processing a divorce, striking a child custody and child support arrangement, many divorced adults later report that the process allowed them to learn some things about themselves and how they manage a stressful situation which later proved useful as they navigated the remainder of their adult lives. While it may seem like one of the most stressful period and event in one’s adult life, leaving an unhappy marriage can also be freeing in terms of the personal changes one experiences.
For example, there may be a temptation to block child visitation if the former spouse does not pay child support on time. Blocking visitations, however, is using the time with the child as a sort of bargaining chip; children need to be respected and cared for by their parents, with any adult disagreements worked out separately. If one’s former spouse is laid off or underemployed through no fault of his or her own, child support may be difficult or impossible to muster for some period. In situations like this, it may be tempting to take this lack of child support as a personal insult and then respond with anger or retaliate, which only makes worse an already stressful situation. Blocking visitation may also result in legal action and is not generally suggested by legal counsel.
If you are experiencing issues regarding the lack of timely child support payments, work with an experienced child custody lawyer to see what steps are available to you.