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Money Spent on Children During Visitation Does Not Count as Child Support

It is not unusual for a non-custodial parent to spend time engaging in fun activities with his or her child when he or she is having parenting time with the child. A parent and child often will go out to restaurants to eat, see a movie, spend a day at an amusement park, or shop for school clothes and supplies. The mistake that many people make, however, is to consider money spent on children during parenting time as child support.

As a general rule under Georgia law, money spent on a child during parenting time or visitation does not count toward a parent’s child support obligation. In other words, a parent cannot purchase a new video game and a new backpack for school for a child and expect the amounts spent on those purchases to count as child support. The reality is that it takes more than the child support payment ordered by a judge to finance the raising of a child. As a practical matter, a noncustodial parent will spend money on his or her child during visitation, above and beyond the ordered child support, just as a custodial parent will spend money on the child when he or she has the child that goes beyond the child support received for the child.

Child support is based on a variety of factors prescribed by Georgia law, including the income of both parties. With that said, child support orders are not intended to make a parent’s life financially difficult or prevent him or her from being able to take the child out for ice cream during visitation. If a child support obligation has become impossible for a parent meet due to a change in employment or other changes in circumstances, that parent does have the option of asking the court to modify his or her child support obligation.

No matter what your situation, you will need a strong advocate on your side who knows how to achieve your objectives, particularly where there are child support issues involved. Working with an experienced Atlanta child support attorney will make all the difference in your case.

Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.