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Does this clause mean that we share expenses incurred by visitation, or that we are each responsible for our own?

Jacksonville, NC |

"Each party shall be equally responsible for the transportation and the transportation costs
incident to the exercise of their respective custody and visitation periods."

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Attorney answers 3


It specifically addresses getting your child to and from parenting time with the other parent. For example, one parent bringing the child to the other parent for parenting access and the other parent returning the child. If there are very expensive costs incurred, you are to pay in equal shares.


This clause was written in quasi-lawyer language hence your understandable confusion as to what it means. There is a place for 'lawyerease' but in a separation agreement between laypersons, it is my opinion the clause should have been written in a plain english, easy to undestand way. Basically, the clause means you and your spouse are both responsible for transportation arrangements and will evenly split transportation costs for custody and visitation. For example if it costs your spouse $10 to pick up and return the child for visitation and you had no cost because the child was picked up at your home - you would owe your spouse $5. The clause can also be read to hold you responsible to transport the child to your spouse's custody / visitation in situations where your spouse can not and vice versa. For example, if your spouse's car breaks down and has no other method of transportation, you would be responsible to provide the transportation and your spouse would reimburse you half the cost. Most folks are decent and use common sense but without additional clarification this clause alone is subject to being abused. There are no requirements for when payment is due and there is nothing to prevent a vindictive spouse from being creative with the transportation, for example, taking a $100 cab ride or 'scenic view' route and inappropriately boosting your half of the cost to $50 or more. These types of details and the ability to understand what you hired your lawyer to draft, make the difference between an outstanding separation agreement and a run of the mill separation agreement.

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I believe that you need to look a little deeper at the order and find out about the visitation and who is responsible for pick-up and delivery. If a party only visits during the summer and maybe Christmas because of distance and it requires airplane tickets then i believe each has to pay 1/2 of the expenses. If the exchange is locally then each is probably responsible for the transportation either to or from the exchange but not both. If meeting is on neutral then probably the same result unless one drives 100 miles and the other only 5 miles. Like I said you have to look at more than just this language to get the overall visitation/custody scheme to best interpret this provision. With the entire paragraph it might become more clear. Sorry, but Domestic Orders sometime require a thorough working knowledge of all the circumstances and of the terms of prior orders whose provisions were not modified in a judgment and continue to be effective.