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Do you need a transportation plan for custody and visitation exchanges?

If you’re a divorcing parent who will be sharing custody of your children with your co-parent, or even if your co-parent has only visitation rights, it may be wise to include a transportation plan within your parenting plan. While this may not be necessary in all cases, it can minimize conflict and confusion for some families.

The type of provisions you include in your plan will depend on how close you’ll be living to one another, how often your children will be moving between homes and how well the two of you can get along and communicate with each other. 

What kinds of provisions should you include in transportation plans?

You don’t need to include all of these provisions in your parenting plan, and some may not be applicable. However, here are some things to consider:

  • How will responsibility for transportation between homes be divided?
  • At what point do parents need to notify each other if they’re running late or can’t take the children?
  • If the distance between homes is more than a short drive, will you each drive halfway and make the exchange somewhere in the middle? Apps like MeetWays can help with this.
  • How will transportation costs be split if train or plane travel is required?
  • Will exchanges be made at homes or designated neutral locations?

This last one may be an issue if the divorce is a high-conflict one.

Why are public, neutral exchange points sometimes best?

Sometimes, these exchanges are the only times divorced co-parents see each other, and that can be where they deal with all of the issues that have built up since the last exchange. Arguing in front of the kids is unhealthy for them, of course. However, letting your kids walk into their other parent’s home on their own so you don’t have to encounter your ex may not be safe or even feasible. 

Many supervised visitation centers also serve as drop-off sites. If you think this is necessary (or a judge orders you to do this), your attorney can help you find one that’s reasonably convenient.

Your divorce may not be so contentious that you need to find a public location to exchange your children with your co-parent. However, it can still be wise to consider including a few provisions about custody exchanges in your parenting plan.  

 

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