The court generally requires parents who are getting a divorce to put together a parenting plan. Ideally, this plan sets out the structure for parenting post-divorce. It should answer questions about how much time the child spends with each parent and how medical and schooling choices for any child are to be made.
Although the plan usually proscribes each parent’s time with the child, parents frequently fail to address how the children are to be exchanged and which parent should be responsible for transporting the child if that is necessary. How exactly does the child get from Point A to Point B?
How do we figure out transportation?
This is not a common occurrence. The transportation of the child, just like the care and parenting of the child, is generally viewed as a shared responsibility but there is no uniform approach applied by the courts or legal practitioners. Psychology experts recommend, when possible, for parents of young children to have the parent who is receiving the child pick that child up. This generally changes the dynamic from one of a prolonged goodbye to one of greeting. This can make it easier for the child to shift from one household to the next.
These experts also explain that the dynamic often changes as the child ages. They note that a more mature child is likely to understand they are following a timetable and may even want the independence of getting to the next destination on their own. Parents can provide this freedom by allowing the child to bike, walk or even drive to the other household once they are old enough. You should consider your child’s maturity and development in determining if this possibility works well for your child.
What if we want to change our parenting plan?
It is possible to modify a parenting plan if transportation becomes an issue or if both parents simply want to update the plan to better reflect their situation as their child grows. If both parents agree, then modifying the custody terms should be relatively straight forward. Whether or not both parents agree to modifying any transportation issues, it is generally best to seek legal counsel to help put together a resolution.