The court can deviate from the presumptive child support amount calculated by the child support worksheets for several reasons, IF the child support deviation is in the best interest of the child(ren) for whom child support is being determined. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(1)(A). The sixth deviation category under the statute is travel expenses. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(2)(F). This deviation is including the statute to cover a situation where the parents live in different cities or states and visitation related travel expenses are substantial for one or both parents.
If parents live in different cities or states, the logistics for visitation can be a little more complicated. If a plane flight is necessary, and the child is too young to fly alone, one parent must fly the child to and from visitation and, thus, there are round trip airline tickets on each end. Even if the distance can be traveled by car, gas has become increasingly expensive. If travel expenses for visitation are found to be substantial, "the court may order the allocation of such costs…by deviation from the presumptive amount of child support, taking into consideration the circumstances of the respective parents as well as which parent moved and the reason for such move." Id. The court may be more likely to allow a deviation for a parent who moved due to a job or to be closer to family who could help with child care rather than a parent who moved away from his/her children to be closer to a new girlfriend/boyfriend.