Divorce can be an emotional and frustrating time. Instead of life as you are used to, now you are living separately from your spouse and your children. No longer are your days bookended by interactions with your children. Instead, your time with them is relegated to the weekends and the occasional evening visit.
If you and your former spouse can't agree about custody, the situation can become even worse. While you may want to involve your children in the custody decision, if your former spouse isn't respecting their wishes or your, you may have a custody battle brewing.
When you want to gain custody, but it was temporarily awarded to your former spouse, it can be aggravating. Compound that with limited access to your children and the cost of child support, and you may feel downright angry. It can be tempting to reduce or limit your child support payments as a means of getting back at your former spouse. Doing so, however, will not only hurt your chances at a fair custody arrangement, it could hurt your children as well. Working with an experienced divorce attorney is the best way to help ensure a positive outcome to a divorce where you can't agree on custody.
Failing to pay child support can cost you a lot
Whether or not your former spouse is honoring the terms of your temporary custody and support orders, you need to uphold your end. A temporary support order is a court order, and you don't want to be in violation of a court order when you're waiting for your turn in family court.
If you fail to pay your child support on time and in full, the courts could garnish your wages. They could also seize your tax return or even issue a bench warrant for your arrest due to non-payment. None of that will help make you look like a devoted and capable parent when it comes time for the final divorce.
No matter how frustrated you are, you should always pay your child support as ordered by the courts. If you believe the amount is too high, your divorce attorney can request a hearing to have the amount adjusted. The state uses a formula to determine support amounts, and sometimes it isn't accurate.
In the meantime, you need to pay the support in full. Doing so shows that you are capable of financially providing for your children. It also shows that you are willing to put their needs first, during and after the divorce. That can only help you in your battle for full or shared custody of your children.
An attorney can make all the difference
When you're facing a protracted divorce and custody battle, working with an experienced and dedicated divorce attorney is your best chance for success. He or she can help you comply with the law and build a case. That may include documenting any violations of your visitation or custody order made by your former spouse.