travel deviation chil support georgia

Understanding Travel Deviation on Child Support in Georgia

In the landscape of family law, child support guidelines in Georgia offer a framework to ensure that children receive adequate financial support from their non-custodial parent. However, unique circumstances such as travel expenses can significantly impact the calculation of child support payments. In Georgia, a travel deviation may be considered to accommodate the costs associated with visitation travel. This blog explores the concept of travel deviation in child support, providing insights for parents navigating these adjustments.

The Basis of Travel Deviation

Travel deviation in child support refers to an adjustment made to the standard child support obligation to account for the substantial costs a non-custodial parent may incur while exercising visitation rights. This adjustment recognizes that maintaining a meaningful relationship with both parents is in the best interest of the child, even when it requires significant travel.

Georgia’s child support guidelines allow for such deviations to ensure that the financial burden of travel does not hinder a parent’s ability to engage in visitation. The decision to grant a travel deviation rests with the court, which evaluates each case based on its merits and the child’s best interests.

Criteria for Granting Travel Deviation

For a court to consider granting a travel deviation, the requesting party must demonstrate that the travel expenses are substantial and necessary for visitation. This might include long-distance travel costs for parents living in different states or countries. The court will evaluate factors such as:

  • The distance between the parents’ residences
  • The frequency of the visitation
  • The overall financial situation of both parents
  • The impact of the travel costs on the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay child support

It’s important to note that travel deviation is not automatic; it requires a detailed presentation of evidence to justify the adjustment.

Implications of Travel Deviation

The implications of a travel deviation are twofold. For the non-custodial parent, it may result in a reduced child support payment, reflecting the court’s acknowledgment of their additional visitation-related expenses. For the custodial parent, it means receiving a potentially lower amount than the standard calculation would suggest. However, the overarching goal remains to balance the financial responsibilities with the child’s need for regular interactions with both parents.

Navigating Travel Deviation Requests

Parents seeking a travel deviation should prepare to present comprehensive evidence of their travel expenses. This includes travel tickets, fuel receipts, accommodation bills, and any other relevant expenses. Legal representation is crucial in these matters, as a family law attorney can help articulate the necessity of the deviation and advocate for a fair adjustment.


Travel deviation in child support calculations acknowledges the complexities of modern parenting, especially when geographical distance poses a challenge to visitation. Georgia’s family law courts strive to balance the financial aspects of child support with the practical realities of maintaining parent-child relationships across distances. For parents facing this situation, understanding the potential for a travel deviation is the first step towards ensuring that financial arrangements reflect the true costs of shared parenting.

As always, navigating the intricacies of child support adjustments requires professional guidance. Engaging with a knowledgeable family law attorney can provide clarity and support through the process, ensuring that the child’s best interests remain at the forefront of any decision.

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