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My ex isn't paying child support, do I still allow visitation?

We probably all know someone who is inherently lazy, can't ever hold a job and when they have money, it is spent first on indulgences, and then they are pandering to pay their light bill and hinting around for handouts to help. If that description sounds fairly similar to your ex-spouse, you may be in for a long ride when it comes to receiving child support.

Perhaps what this spouse lacks in work ethic and financial savvy, they more than make up for in character and charm. After all, you did fall for him or her at one time for that very reason, right? Now that same insouciant behavior and sideways smile, that used to endear them to you makes your blood boil. Maybe they come around for visitation, and the kids love them as much as you once did, and they fill the children's heads with promises and plans that are as unreliable as that child support check coming in.

When you see the hurt in your children's faces, and when you see it wiped away the next time your spouse decides to show up for your planned visitation, you may think your children would be better off if you no longer allowed for visitation and instead safeguarded them from the empty promises of your ex. Since the other parent isn't upholding his or her end of the bargain with child support, you have every right. Right?

Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Child custody, visitation and support are legal issues that, while related, are kept separate. If your spouse is not paying the court-ordered support, he or she may receive jail time, which could, at least briefly, terminate visitation with the children. Alternatively, if you fail to provide access to the children during scheduled visitations, the support-obligated parent can petition the court for a temporary pardon from child support.

The best thing to do in cases of neglected child support and inconsistent visitation adherence is to petition the court for modifications. Your Illinois family law attorney should be able to assist in this matter and guide you on keeping the necessary records to further support your case.

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