The world of child support and custody isn't as wild as it seems. Legally there are only a few things that are truly governed by the courts. Outside of those, you can't really force the other parent to do something, and that includes seeing the child as long as they are following all court-ordered requirements. If you feel like you're not getting enough support overall from the other parent -- monetary or otherwise -- the only things you can really go after are enforcing the already existing agreements that the court has set up.
Child Support, Following Visitation Schedules, and Staying Put
Courts can set and enforce child support payments, visitation schedules, and whether or not a parent can take a child away to another state, such as moving for a job. In most cases, parents both want to see the child, and it's rare to have one parent voluntarily sign away parental rights. If you feel the other parent is being a terrible person and shouldn't have any custody of the child, you can get the court to revoke parental rights and visitation if you have enough proof. However, you can't force a parent to take more custody if they don't want to and if the court has already agreed to either terminate their rights or restrict visitation.
What the Parents and the Child Want
Something that family courts have been focusing on more and more is what each parent and the child want. Courts have generally recognized that there are some requirements that parents must follow, and child support payments are one of those. So, if a parent isn't paying what the court says they have to, you do have legal recourse to force the parent to either pay up or face legal consequences.
Parents who have not given up parental rights and who have not had their rights terminated by the court can also fight for visitation rights. The older the child, the more the court should listen to them, so if the child doesn't want to see a parent, that plays into the decision from the court.
But that's really about all the court can enforce. If a parent gives up parental and visitation rights but pays child support on time and in full -- or exceeds the required amount -- that is all the court can enforce.
If you are having trouble getting child support or if the other parent claims that because he or she doesn't see the child, they don't have to pay you anything anymore, contact a lawyer. Child support payments are sacred as far as family courts are concerned.
To learn more, contact a child support attorney.