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Travel expenses related to parenting time in Arizona

Many parents in Arizona have parenting time orders they must follow. These orders state when each parent has the children and when they must exchange the children with the other parent. Generally, if there is a parenting time order, there is also a child support order as well. The child support order states that the non-custodial parent must pay the custodial parent a certain amount of money each month for the expenses of raising a child.

The child support order covers the children's basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter, but there are usually many more costs associated with raising the child than just the basics. One of these expenses is the travel expenses associated with exchanging the children. If the parents live close to each other, the expenses are typically not too expensive and each parent will pay for their own expenses, but this is not always the case.

In situations when the parents are more than 100 miles apart from each other, the travel expenses increase dramatically. If the parents cannot decide who will pay for these expenses, the judge will make a decision for them. The travel expenses are a separate issue than child support, though, and will not affect the child support order. These are in addition to any monthly obligation.

The judge will consider the financial situation of each parent as well as which parent was responsible for moving far away. The goal is to ensure that each parent is still able to have their parenting time with the child. If the judge orders one parent to pay for travel expenses associated with parenting time, the parent receiving the payment must provide receipts or other evidence of actual money paid for travel.

When one parent lives far from the other, it's easy to see how a child support dispute or a disagreement over parenting time can erupt. Experienced attorneys understand Arizona's child support guidelines and may be a useful resource as parents work towards a suitable arrangement for themselves and their children.

Source: Superior Court of Maricopa County, "Arizona Child Support Guidelines," accessed Aug. 24, 2015

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