Travel expenses


#1

My husband and his ex have an existing custody and support order. Among other things it lists that we have to pay her $200 prior to her driving to drop the kids of at our designated place for visitation at the Christmas and summer vacations. She lives in NC and we live in the northeast and meet in MD. She is refusing to meet us in MD at the beginning of the break because she is saying she can’t take the time off of work, which is never an issue when it serves her agenda. In order for the children to not miss their visitation with us I am taking a day off from work to fly to NC to pick them up at the airport and then on the return trip are planning on meeting her as usual in MD. The airport is 1.5 hours from her house and she is not missing any time from work, as I booked the flights accordingly. My question is, do we still have to pay her the full $200 for her travel expenses when she isn’t making both trips or can we pay her $100, and be justified legally in doing so, since she is only really traveling 1/2 and we had to incur additional costs of flying and my time off of work because of her deficiencies? She won’t agree to the $100 but would we be justified in only sending her that?

Thanks for any insight on this matter.


#2

Whether or not you pay the $200 is up to you. You have a court order saying you should pay this, and I cannot advise you to not comply with a court order. However, if you decide that doing so will be inequitable because she is not driving both ways to MD, then you are risking her filing contempt of court. She may or may not file it. If she does, then you will need to explain to the judge why you decided not to do so. If your Order says that she should be meeting you in MD for pick up and drop off, and you will pay her $200, and she does not go to MD as she’s supposed to, then she would also be in contempt. I cannot say for sure though without reviewing the Order myself, which is beyond the scope of this forum.