International Move / Child Support and Travel Expe

If you incur substantial costs to exercise visitation, it can be taken into account when calculating child support and may be a basis for a deviation from the child support guidelines.

You are correct that shared custody will not work if she moves back to Canada. Whether the court would grant you primary custody depends on the benefits if the children staying here with you vs. remaining with their primary caregiver. This would depend very heavily on the age of your children.

If you chose to move to Canada as well your child support obligation would be reduced along with the reduction in your income.

I do not know how much your income is, but if you calculate the travel expenses and balance that against your decrease in salary if you moved and did not have travel expenses, which way has you coming out ahead financially?

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

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301 McCullough Drive
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Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
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My wife and I (both Canadian) reside in NC. After 7 years of marriage we have 2 children born in the US. We are in process of getting a divorce and since she is here on a guest visa (non-working) she would like to take the children back to Canada.

My wife has been a stay at home mom for the last few years while we have been in the states. I am in process of getting my Green Card and have well paying job in NC.

We both agree that 50/50 custody would be the best solution as we both feel each other are good parents.


  1. Is it legally possible and/or reasonable to suggest the kids reside in the states with me and have weekend visits back to Canada. Thereby staying in the same school,friends,etc… even though she has tradionally been the primary caregiver?

  2. If I agree to giving her primary custody and letting them move to Canada how will travel be handled as she is really forced to leave the USA once our divorce is final (and her guest visa is no longer valid)?

I figure a flight($400-500), hotel($200), car rental ($100) will be approximately $800 for a weekend.

My fear is that I will not be able to afford the child support, Spousal support and travel costs to see my kids - even just a weekend a month.

My wife doesnt think she will be able to cover half the travel costs and reducing the CS isnt really fair the kids. Any suggestions or past experiences/ solutions that worked well?

  1. Taking a job in Canada my salary will most likely be lower (-25%) and my ability to meet CS and SS will be much harder. Is it possible to word something into the separation / Divorce docs that could lower SS and CS if I take a lower paying job? I realize that I could take a lower pay and then have a court appearance to justify lowering the CS / SS but trying to avoid being in a situation where I become behind.