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AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13568
Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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How is child support and visitation of a non-custodial parent

Resolved Question:

How is child support and visitation of a non-custodial parent that is AWOL dealt with?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 6 years ago.
*Due to rules of your state bar or mine, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information to better help yourself.*

How is child support and visitation of a non-custodial parent that is AWOL dealt with?Hi, this is treated no differently in the family court that any other deadbeat parent. The custodial parent can and should seek child support orders for ALL of the children. If the noncustodial parent (NCP) doesn't pay it, at least arrears will be accruing and the other parent can hopefully get them satisfied down the road. Visitation is not different either, since payment of child support is not contingent upon visitation, and vice versa. If there is a current visitation order, the custodial parent may want to officially change that since there has been little to no use of same by the NCP, asking that any future visitation, if he should seek it, be decided at that time when it is better determined if he is safe for the children.

I hope this helps clarify for you.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I guess I wanted to know about my sons position on the issue... what happens when the child no longer wants the ncp to be a part of his life?
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 6 years ago.
The child does not make the decision on visitation. However, if he is mature enough to articulate his reasons for not wanting to see his parent, and that, long with other circumstances, including any abandonment, bring the Judge to the conclusion that it would be in the child's best interest to not have to visit with his parent, the Judge can terminate any prior visitation order. Let me know if you need further clarification.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

how would this change if the ncp claims he is gonna "try?

Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 6 years ago.
The judge needs to consider everything, but the history is also very important. Does it matter if an NCP wants to try? Possibly, but of course, the issue of visitation wouldn't really be on the board if he didn't at least claim to want to try. But, a "try" sounds very wimpy (excuse the jargon) - a judge could say, "listen buddy, these are your children, a mere try, which implies you are prepared to fail in your efforts, is not in their best interests. They need a parent who WILL be there, without fail, who puts them first, cherishes any time he can get to spend with them, and understands exactly how important they are..." etc. etc. So, if I had a deadbeat who had blown off his children for years, and now out of the blue wants to "try", I would likely ask the judge to deny him, due to the fact that he had previously devastated his children by never being around when he could have been, causing them repeated heartache and pain - and only to allow supervised visitation in originally limited quantities, after he had shown he had stabilized, was not doing drugs (if every he had that problem), had a stable home and a stable job for 1-2 years. Perhaps phone calls and skype at first, then if he shows appropriate lifestyle for 1-2 years, some slowly growing visitation.

In a perfect world, he'd change his life around, gain trust in his kids, and there'd be a terrific father/child/children relationship forever more - for the good of the kids, who we all know do best when they have two loving and stable parents in their lives. But, if he doesn't or can't, I think his involvement can harm more than hurt, particularly if he constantly lets them down, lies or breaks promises to them, etc. It may be that it can damage their self esteem, teach them to not trust (which can lead to future unhappiness and failed relationships later in life), etc., and may not be in their best interest. For this reason, him having to prove himself as having straightened out, may be something a judge would demand he do before giving him visitation.

Good luck, they are lucky to have you!
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.