Co-parents in California should make sure they address transportation issues regarding visitation while creating a parenting plan or custody agreement. A little time preplanning will eliminate the possibility of confusion and keep both parents informed about when they’re responsible for transporting the kids.
When talking over a visitation plan, both parents should nail down the transportation details. The details should:
• Identify the parent responsible for visitation transportation.
• Discuss which child safety restraints should be used.
• Discuss what happens when the parent providing transportation is late.
• Discuss the handling of costs associated with transportation.
• Discuss unattended flying by children if necessary to facilitate visitation.
Ex-spouses should decide together where to meet for visitation drop-offs. It may work for both parties if the meeting site is a public location that’s an equal distance from each household. Alternatively, they could decide that the visiting ex will pick the children up from home, and the custodial parent will gather them from another location when the visitation time is over.
An unfortunate fact of life is that all visitation agreements do not go smoothly. In some cases, visitation drop-offs can lead to heated exchanges between ex-spouses. A tense set of drop-offs that begin to get more aggressive may be a sign that safe transfer protocols are needed. The first step in this process is establishing a neutral location to execute visitation transfers.
An ex-spouse who is unsure of a neutral drop-off location can reach out to their attorney or a clerk at the family law office. There are also online databases that provide lists of neutral drop-off locations. A third option is to ask about neutral drop-off locations at a nearby fire or police station.
Sharing parental rights can be one of the most difficult parts of getting a divorce. There are times when custody and visitation issues will become a point of contention despite the best intentions of both parents. If you’re dealing with potential custody issues, consider reaching out to a divorce attorney as early in the process as possible.