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Should you withhold child support over visitation issues?

Divorce has a tendency to bring out the worst in many people. Couples who once proclaimed undying love for one another may fight over every single piece of furniture and dollar of assets. The higher the assets involved in your marriage, the more likely a protracted and acrimonious divorce becomes.

Sometimes, you or your former spouse may do things just to spite one another, such as withholding or shortening visitation times. If you are in the process of divorcing and are having issues with child support or visitation, you need the help of an experienced Tennessee divorce attorney.

What to do when your ex withholds visitation

Typically, during a divorce in Tennessee, when one party files, the courts issue temporary custody and support orders. Most times, this means the person who files has the option of choosing if he or she wants full custody during the divorce process. The other spouse will likely only receive visitation rights until the divorce is finalized, while being expected to pay child support in a timely manner. In the best of cases, this arrangement can be frustrating. In a situation where your former spouse is withholding visitation or shortening your time with your children, you may wonder if you can withhold child support.

The short answer is no. If you fail to pay support, it can cause problems for you if you are requesting full or partial custody of your children. In addition to risking the courts garnishing your wages, seizing your tax return or issuing a warrant to enforce support, you will look like you aren't willing or able to support your children. That will not work in your favor during the finalization of the divorce. Work with your attorney to document the withheld or shortened visitation and continue to pay your support as ordered, in full and on time.

An attorney's help is critical in a contentious divorce

If you and your former spouse can't agree on custody and asset division, you need the help of an experienced Tennessee divorce attorney. He or she can help you with the division of assets and in making your case for full or partial custody of your children. Your attorney can also help you request an adjustment of your child support amount if you believe it is too high. The state of Tennessee uses a calculator to determine support amounts, and the temporary support order may not have had all information included.

Trying to fight through a contentious divorce without legal help could end poorly. Your attorney will advocate for you and do as much as possible to protect your interests during divorce proceedings.

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Lisa Collins Werner Family Law & Mediation Compassion. Experience. Results

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