Can I Deny Parenting Time to my Ex is they are not Paying Child Support?

No. Child support and parenting time are considered two separate issues. A parent cannot deny parenting time to the other because that parent is not paying child support or is behind on their child support payments.

Attached to all court orders dealing with child support and/or spousal maintenance is a document called Appendix A. Appendix A gives the parties notice of pertinent Minnesota statutes relating to custody, parenting time, child support and spousal maintenance.  You can see Appendix A in its entirety for more information.

Appendix A includes the following section:  Nonpayment of support is not grounds to deny parenting time. The party entitled to receive support may apply for support and collection services, file a contempt motion, or obtain a judgment as provided in Minn. Stat. § 548.091

Child support is not payment for a parent to exercise parenting time. The primary concern is the child’s best interests, i.e. the child’s relationship with his or her parent is paramount to whether that parent is paying child support. This is demonstrated in the child support calculation. The more parenting time that a parent has with a child, the lower their child support obligation. The more time that a parent spends with the child, the higher the likelihood that the parent is paying for the child’s meals, clothing, and other expenses while in that parent’s care, prompting a lower child support obligation to the other parent.

Denial of parenting time is a very serious issue, which the judge might see as harmful to the child.

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