My divorce took place in California and I now live in Missouri. Since I have moved back to Missouri, she has not allowed me my visitation rights with our children.
I paid child support for a while but quit paying since there has been no contact in five years.
The child support agency is harassing me about these arrears, but why should I pay when I can't see my kids? Where can I turn to?
First, I must preface my answer by notifying you that I am not a licensed to practice law in the state of California. With that being said, your situation is not uncommon for most men and each state will have general rules or procedures for you to follow to help get you the visitation time that you deserve.
In my home state of Missouri, when a custodial parent denies the non-custodial parent visitation with his child, then you can file a Family Access Motion. Generally an attorney would file this motion for you and allege wrongdoing on the part of the custodial parent for failing to allow the visitation.
Please keep in mind, that once you file the type of motion described above, you could subject yourself to a counter Motion for Contempt. Based upon the facts as you described them, you are in arrears for non-payment of child support.
As frustrating as it might be, even if your ex-wife denies visitation, your duty and obligation to pay child support generally remains. Most judges are not sympathetic with a father who is failed to pay his child support obligation unless that father had an illness or disability that left him unable to earn a wage.
Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion of your legal rights, I urge you to contact an attorney immediately.
Cordell & Cordell has well qualified and experienced men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide, including many in Missouri, if you require additional legal assistance.
Michelle Hughes is an Associate Attorney in the Jefferson County, Missouri office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Hughes is licensed in the states of Missouri and Illinois, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. A native to metro St. Louis, Ms. Hughes received her BBA in Economics and Finances from McKendree College. She later received her Juris Doctor from Thomas Cooley Law School where she graduated cum laude.