Can I Withhold Parenting Time If My Spouse Fails To Make Child Support Payments?

Failing to pay court-ordered child support is illegal under Arizona law. However, withholding court-ordered parenting time is also illegal. If your spouse succumbs to financial challenges that make continued child support payments impossible, they need to obtain a modification from the courts. Similarly, if your spouse stops making the payments, you need to take legal action to enforce the child support requirements set forth by the court.

Arizona law requires parents to make all child support payments to the Support Payment Clearinghouse, which then transfers the funds to the other parent. If an arrearage appears in the Clearinghouse records, legal action can be taken against the defaulting parent — according to the Arizona Courts, such legal actions include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Incarceration
  • Liens on personal and real property and on motor vehicles
  • Suspension of driver,  professional or recreational licenses
  • Bank account seizure

Some situations may compel you to withhold parenting time outside the law, for example, if you believe turning your children over to the other parent presents an immediate danger. Smelling alcohol or noticing intoxicated behavior by a parent who plans to take the children in a car would constitute an immediate danger. In such cases, Scottsdale attorneys experienced in child visitation issues can help justify your illegal actions to the court. Otherwise, they can explain the legal options available to enforce child support issues you have with your former spouse.