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I Have to Travel to Visit My Children. Can I Seek a Child Support Reduction?

Very often upon divorce, one or both former spouses may relocate to another neighborhood, city or even another state. When relocation occurs, especially in cases where child custody is shared by both parents, it is necessary for one or both parents to travel in order to exercise parenting time. In situations where a non-custodial parent must travel a long distance to exercise visitation or parenting time, that parent often incurs significant travel expenses. Depending on the frequency of visitation, these travel expenses may become a substantial financial burden to a non-custodial parent who is also responsible for paying child support.

Fortunately, for non-custodial parents who must travel to exercise parenting time with their children, Georgia law regarding child support may offer some much needed relief in the form of a the Visitation Related Travel Expenses Deviation. According to Georgia child support law:

“If court ordered visitation related travel expenses are substantial due to the distance between the parents, the court may order the allocation of such costs or the jury may by a finding in its special interrogatory allocate 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.”

 O.C.G.A. §19-6-15(i)(2)(F).

What the above sited law means practically is that non-custodial parents who must travel to exercise parenting time may seek a downward deviation or reduction to their child support payments. The purpose of this deviation is to ensure that non-custodial parents are not kept from exercising parenting time due to financial constraints. There are several other deviations that may be applied to a parent’s initial or presumptive child support obligation depending on the circumstances of the particular case. If you are a parent who must travel to spend time with your children, contact a Georgia child support attorney to discuss if seeking a visitation related travel expense deviation is right for you.

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