I’ve been informed that my ex-spouse is attempting to increase child support. Can I submit travel expenses to prevent an increase in child support? I travel over 100 miles one way, in order to pick up my child.
I have not been retained as your attorney so I cannot give you legal advice. However, I can offer some general information that may help you.
In Arkansas, the state where I practice, courts determine how much a noncustodial parent (the parent with whom the children are not primarily living) is to pay to the custodial parent by reviewing the “family support chart.”
The chart will tell the court how much the noncustodial parent is to pay by basing it off of the noncustodial parent’s monthly take-home income and how many children the parties share. Generally, courts do not allow gifts to a child as a substitute for cash child support payments and require that child support payments be paid as ordered by the court.
A judge may strictly use the guidelines to set support or she may deviate from them depending on certain circumstances of the noncustodial and/or the custodial party. Like many family law cases, the outcome of this one will be very dependent upon the facts and it will at the court’s discretion.
You should make your argument to the judge. It would, also, help if you can provide the judge will any mileage or gas receipts showing how much you spend for visitation.
Alternatively, if the judge will not decrease your child support obligation, you may want to modify the visitation agreement so the pickup and drop off locations are more of an equal distance between you and the other parent or more manageable for you.