Do I have to pay child support to be able to see my children?

Under F.S. 61.13, payment of child support is not dependent upon parenting time or contact with child. Therefore, a parent who does not meet his/her ordered child support payments may not be denied visitation. This works both ways, as a parent cannot refuse to pay ordered child support if the time-sharing agreement is not being upheld by the party receiving payments. However, the amount of time the child spends with a parent can change the amount of child support paid. F.S. 61.30 requires a change in the child support guidelines if a parent has time-sharing for at least 20% of overnights during a year. In most circumstances, child support paid by a parent decreases with each additional overnight they spend with a child.

A parent cannot dissolve his/her obligation to pay child support by agreeing not to see a child. If a parent refuses to be a part of the child’s life, the court may increase child support payments due to the increased financial burden placed upon the parent who has the children for more time than the agreed upon schedule.

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