Can child support be lowered due to travel expenses?

Question:divorce lawyer Carrie Westbrook

Regarding a child support modification, I accepted a new job out of state that pays more money. My children will continue to live in their state.

Can I modify my child support order to offset the travel expenses I will incur in order to continue seeing my kids during our scheduled parenting time?

Answer:

Generally speaking, most states have specific requirements pertaining to when a child support order can be modified.

For example, many states require that it has been at least three years since the last child support order was entered or that there be a significant change in the parties circumstances that would justify a modification. Keep in mind that what you consider significant isn’t always what the court thinks.

Theoretically, you might be able to convince the court that you should get some sort of offset for travel expenses to see your children.

However, some courts won’t offset child support with travel expenses because there is no guarantee that you will actually travel to see your children. Instead, they are sometimes more inclined to issue an order that both parties split the cost of travel 50/50 should you choose to exercise your visitation/parenting time with your children.

If this were the case, you could end up with the court increasing your child support due to your higher income with no offset for travel.

Therefore, you would definitely want to consult an attorney to run the numbers with you and decide whether the risk of increase is worth the offset or split in travel expenses.

I have only provided you with general legal information. For a more in-depth answer you should contact a family law attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Carrie H. Westbrook, an Associate Attorney in the Colorado Springs, Colorado office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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