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My Child’s Father Isn’t Paying Child Support, Do I Have To Let Him See My Kids?

Child Support Non-Payment: Does it Affect Visitation Rights?

NO! Navigating the intricate landscape of family law can often feel daunting, particularly when it involves child support and visitation rights. In Texas, these two areas are treated as separate entities, each with its own set of rules and regulations. This article is here to help you understand two important things: a parent’s duty to pay for their child’s needs (child support) and a parent’s right to spend time with their child (visitation rights) are separate things; thus, one doesn’t affect the other. So, even if a parent isn’t paying child support, they still have the right to see their child. And if a parent isn’t seeing their child, they still have to pay child support.

We dig into the complexities of these laws, discussing scenarios such as what happens when a parent falls behind on child support payments or if they are denied visitation. Throughout, we keep our focus on the guiding principle in all family law matters – the best interest of the child.

Independent Rights

Under the Texas Family Code, the right to receive child support and the right to visitation are two independent rights that do not have any weight on the other right. The ability to visit with your children is not dependent on your ability to pay child support. The obligation to pay child support does not disappear if the responsible parent is denied visitation or chooses to no longer possess the child during their periods of visitation.

Nonetheless, it’s crucial to understand that showing earnest effort to the court can have its advantages. If you’re facing financial hardships, we advise making whatever contributions you can towards child support. Even though you remain liable for the total amount, your demonstrated commitment could potentially sway the court’s view if you’re unable to keep up with payments. Furthermore, if you experience a job loss or a decrease in income, it’s imperative to inform the court without delay. While it may take up to a year for the court to hear your case, filing for a child support modification could result in a retroactive reduction if the court approves the decreased amount.

Best Interest Of The Child

Texas family law courts look at what is in the best interest of the child, and having a continuing relationship with a parent, even if that parent is not current on child support, is in the best interest of a child. You may file an enforcement action against a non-paying parent but you cannot prevent that parent from visiting with their child. Doing so would be a violation of your order. If you refuse to allow a non-paying parent visitation you are giving that parent cause to take you to family court for violating an access and visitation order.

If you are having issues with a parent who is failing to pay child support, please call to schedule a consultation with an experienced Houston Child Support Lawyer at (713) 225-6200 or visit us on the web at

Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Mary E. Ramos

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Mary E. Ramos

Mary E. Ramos is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is recognized and respected throughout the Houston legal community for dedication in effectively representing clients’ rights and interests. Mary understands the emotional side of divorce and brings a special compassion to each and every case.

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