When separated parties co-parent children, there is a basic premise that both parties have the right to parenting time and the obligation to provide financial support. All parents – custodial, non-custodial, and joint custodial – are presumed to be entitled to parenting time. And all parents have the obligation to provide financial support, whether that is by paying child support and/or by paying children’s expenses directly.
Minn. Stat. Section 518.612 expressly asserts that a party’s failure to make support payments is not a defense to interference with parenting time, and interfering with parenting time is not a defense to nonpayment of support. The right to parenting time is not conditioned on payment of child support, and the obligation to pay child support is not conditioned on the right to parenting time.
In cases in which a child is not seeing one of the parents due to safety concerns, that parent is nevertheless obligated to pay child support. And a parent whose support obligation is suspended or reserved by the court is nevertheless entitled to parenting time.