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Are Child Support and Parenting Time or Visitation Connected?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed July 2023

As a general rule, there is no connection between paying child support and parenting time or visitation rights. The court orders parenting time or visitation when it is in the best interest of the child. But, note that the amount of child support may be based on whether the parents share parenting time more or less equally (shared) or the children primarily live with one parent for around 2/3 of the time.

Paying child support does not automatically entitle the person paying support to have parenting time or visitation with the child. Failure to pay child support will not automatically stop parenting time or visitation.

The duty to pay child support is based on the Child Support Guidelines and has little connection with parenting time or visitation.

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