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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    5

    Default Who is Responsible for Visitation Pick-Up

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: MA

    My husband and his ex-wife share 50/50 custody of their 14 YO son.
    Initially after the divorce they were living in the same town. They both remarried and both moved to other towns and we are now about 30 miles apart and about 45 mins of travel one way due to traffic.

    Mom decided to enroll their son in her town's school. She did not get Dad's permission.

    Their divorce agreement states that they may move 35 miles apart without approval, that they must have the other's approval to enroll their son in any activity. There is a custody schedule, yet is is various days flipping back and forth, but ultimatley it is a 50/50 schedule. There is a note that the schedule may need to be adjusted based on the child's age/activites, etc. and that the parents should be flexible with this. There is no mention of sho should pck up/drop off when.

    Mom and Dad have verbally agreed that whoever's day to have the son would pick up from the other's home. Time has always been flexible based on plans, etc. and we have worked it out on a day to day basis.

    Here is the disagreement: Mom thinks that Dad should pick up on his days AND drop off their son at school even if it is her day. She believes that b/c his school is in her town that she shouldn't have to drive to our house to pick him up and bring him back. Dad believes that this arrangement is not 50/50; that he is doing the majority of the driving - about 80-90%. What this looks like is that Dad is driving to and from her town some times 5 days a week. And she is picking him up from our home every other week on the week end that is her day. Dad did not agree for his son to go to school in her town.... he didn't even have the chance to discuss it. He is not opposed to it, yet he does not feel it is fair that he is doing the majoirty of the driving. It affects his work schedule significantly, taking up 3+ hours on some days.


    Advice please! Does he have legal grounds to add in pick up requirements that make her drive half the time?

    Thanks for any help you can give us, MR

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    2,289

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Pick Up

    Your husband should be asking questions...

    If there's nothing in the court order then there's nothing he can do unless he takes her back to court and modifies it to say who picks up and who doesn't especially if there's an increase in distance. If he doesn't like that she put the kid in school without talking to him, take her to court. That's about all he can do. If she doesn't want to agree to his pickup/dropoff schedule she doesn't have to until the court order is changed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Pick Up

    It is very much the norm that the person at whose home the child slept the night before, delivers the child to school the next morning if its a school morning. The school day is still considered that parent's time, the next parent's time does not start until they receive the child after school. Otherwise, the norm is that the receiving parent picks up. Therefore I do not see how dad is going to have much luck in trying to make mom pick up the child in the morning and drive the child back to her community for school.

    Odds are that it would be better to try to find a way to rearrange the schedule so that the driving is fairer. I am not sure its possible, but you can look into it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Pick Up

    Thank you for your reply.
    The issue really isn't the school. He would have had to gone to school in one of our towns.... causing a hardship on one of the parents no matter what. The issue is that she is unwilling to split the pick up/drop off 50/50.
    We have discussed going to a Mediator to help us come to an agreement as she and my husband are unwilling to agree on their own.
    Based on the detail I listed, do you have an opinion as to whether he has grounds to get a court order change?

    Thanks for your reply.
    I understand what you are saying and I don't necessarily disagree.
    Our issue is that we are driving the majority of the time.
    Do you think it would be possible to change the flow of transportation, based on this situation and require her to do 1/2 of the driving. For instance, he would drop his son at school, and she would drive him back to our house after school? Or some other schedule.... he is flexible.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,474

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Pick Up

    The only thing that I can think of that might help a little, is if they switched things to alternating weeks. Dad would have to pick up and drop off every day during his week, but he would then have a full week of no driving at all.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Pick Up

    Yeh, we recommended that and Mom doesn't want to be away from him that long.... we all agree that we need a mediator to make a decision.
    I only posted to see if there are any suggestions out here that could work for us... and if we have grounds to stand on (50/50 driving).
    Thank you

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    2,745

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Pick Up

    If the court order is silent on something like this, then it's up to the parents to behave like reasonable adults and work something out. Otherwise, they force the court to micromanage their lives, and that often ends up with neither party being happy with the result.

    Also, FWIW, IMO, anything approaching "50/50 custody" is all but unworkable for a teenager.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Pick Up

    Quote Quoting pg1067
    View Post
    If the court order is silent on something like this, then it's up to the parents to behave like reasonable adults and work something out. Otherwise, they force the court to micromanage their lives, and that often ends up with neither party being happy with the result.

    Also, FWIW, IMO, anything approaching "50/50 custody" is all but unworkable for a teenager
    .
    I tend to agree with you about that. I have seen almost no families who have made it work in the teenage years. It is not however, impossible. If both parents live in the same community and let the teens live the same lives they would live whether or not their parents are together, it actually can work. It means both parents leaving their ego at the door, but it can work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Pick Up

    To the response below: We donít live in the same community. That is our dilemma.

    As divorced parents go we get along well and we try to support our very hectic work schedules, his school and activities, etc. (Our) son is oblivious to our conflict, as he should be. His mom is a good mom and his dad is as well. This is one issue we canít get passed. We have completely different views. If we lived in a perfect world where everyone agrees on everything we wouldnít need courts and lawyers, would we?

    I was hoping that someone actually had some concrete legal advice or past experience to share. I didnít expect so much criticism. Really disappointing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    835

    Default Re: Who is Responsible for Pick Up

    There was only one line of criticism in any of the responses you received, so I am not sure what your last line in the above post is regarding. And you did receive advice... In order for anything to change it will need to go to court, and that it is normal for the parent who has the child overnight to take the child to school in the morning, so it isn't likely to prevail. You also have been given alternate suggestions for a more workable schedule, but as Mom and Dad have already discarded the option the situation isn't likely to change.

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