Minnesota residents may be interested to know that in May 2016, the father of Bristol Palin’s 7-year-old son was required to pay $61,915.20 in back child support. While that settlement came after some drama, it appears negotiations with her other child’s father are going better. Both Palin and the father of her 5-month-old baby have custody of the child, and a judge also granted visitation. The father lives in Kentucky while Palin lives in Alaska.
He was granted the right to spend four consecutive days with the child twice each month. According to a statement from Palin, the two are trying settle the case without lawyers and are focused on being parents to their child. In a separate decision, the father of the 7-year-old was awarded joint custody of his son and announced on social media that he had spent roughly $100,000 in legal fees to obtain that outcome.
It is important to realize that child support disputes are entirely separate from child custody and visitation. In most cases, a noncustodial parent who has been awarded visitation rights but who is behind on support is still entitled to see the child, and the custodial parent is not allowed to interfere with that right.
This is because the focus is on the best interest of the child, and a court will not deny visitation unless doing so would endanger the child. If there is an issue with back support, the custodial parent can meet with an attorney to determine what collection methods, such as wage garnishment, would be available.