Child support is usually the responsibility of a non-custodial parent who is earning an income. The child support system is designed with fairness for all parties in mind while putting the well-being of the child in question at the forefront.
Many fathers who are preparing to pay child support are concerned about how child support payments affect other aspects of fatherhood. There can be many misconceptions about the consequences of not paying child support and about the rights of fathers in Indiana. This post will address some of these common questions.
Am I obligated to pay child support if I was never married to the mother?
Child support obligations have nothing to do with marital status and everything to do with parental status. If you are the parent of the child, if you are not the primary custodian of the child, and if you earn an income, it is likely that you will have the obligation to pay child support.
Will I lose visitation rights if I don't pay child support?
Under the law, visitation rights and child support obligations are considered to be entirely separate issues. Therefore, not paying child support will never be a reason for you to experience a loss of visitation rights since this could be seen to be a punishment for the child. However, not paying child support can lead to severe consequences such as wage garnishment, drivers' license suspension and even jail time.
Am I able to withhold child support if my visitation rights were violated?
You have the responsibility to continue paying child support regardless of any visitation issues you are having with the other parent. It is important to remember that child support is in place for the sole benefit of your child. It should never be withheld in an attempt to punish or spite the other parent. Withholding child support is likely to leave you liable for back pay in the long-term.
If you are trying to navigate the child support system as a father in Indiana, you should make sure that you understand your rights as well as your responsibilities. There are many factors that can impact child support obligations, so it is important that you are aware of them.