Question from hija, What steps can you take if your spouse hasn’t paid child support but insists on visitation rights in the UK?
Answer from AI:
In the UK, child maintenance and visitation rights are two separate issues. The law recognizes that both parents have responsibilities towards their children, which include financial support and maintaining a relationship. If your spouse is not meeting their financial obligations but insists on visitation rights, there are several steps you can take.
The first step is to communicate with your spouse about the issue. It’s important to remind them of their financial obligations and the impact of their non-payment on the child’s welfare.
If communication doesn’t resolve the issue, you might consider mediation. This is a process where a neutral third party helps you both to reach an agreement. The UK government provides resources on how to find a mediator.
3. Legal Action
If your spouse continues to neglect their financial obligations, you can take legal action. The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) can enforce child maintenance payments. They have several enforcement methods, including:
- Deducting money directly from the paying parent’s earnings or benefits
- Taking money from a bank or building society account
- Applying to court for a liability order, which could lead to the sale of the paying parent’s property or belongings
You can find more information on the UK government’s child maintenance page.
4. Legal Advice
It’s important to consult with a legal professional for personalized advice. They can guide you through the process and help you understand your rights and obligations.
Please note: Visitation rights should not be used as a bargaining chip for child maintenance. The law views these as separate issues, and withholding visitation rights due to non-payment of child maintenance could potentially harm your case in court. Always consult with a legal professional before making any decisions.
Remember, the welfare of the child is paramount in any decisions made regarding child maintenance and visitation rights.