Divorce & Family Law Attorneys

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Are child custody and support connected?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2022 | Child Custody, Child Support

Child custody and child support seem to have a connection. In some ways, they do, but in an important way, they do not.

As a parent, it is important for you to understand how they relate and how they are different. You could find yourself in a bad situation if you do not understand how these concepts are separate under the law.


The only connection between child support and child custody is that the court will use parenting time to factor in who pays support and how much they will pay. Other than that, these topics are completely separate.


The court will not consider child support payment or nonpayment as a reason for arranging custody. If a parent fails to pay support, the other parent cannot refuse to allow him or her to see the children. The court will not side with you if you keep your children from the other parent due to a lack of payment. Under the law, both parents have a right to see their children. The court order for custody is separate from that for support. You could face contempt charges for disobeying a court order for custody arrangements.

The bottom line

The bottom line when it comes to child support is the court sees it as a fiscal responsibility. If a parent is not paying, the court will handle it through legal means. Child custody is different. It is for the children because it is in their best interests to have relationships with both parents. The court recognizes the importance and therefore will push custody regardless of child support status.