Who is responsible for pickup/dropoff


#1

In my husbands separation agreement, that turned into his divorce decree, there is nothing in there about pickup/dropoff. He was divorced in the state of North Carolina. His ex wife still lives there in Elizabeth City. We have visitation every other weekend. We live in Virginia Beach. Its a 52 mile drive one way. We pick them up on a friday and drop off on a monday. We recently went to an attorney in Elizabeth City to get some clarification on this matter and others. The attorney told us that, it doesn’t state anywhere in the agreement about the pickup/dropoff, therefore both parties will be responsible…meaning we should be able to meet halfway on friday and sunday. We told his ex wife this, and she said she wouldn’t do it. So basically nothing has changed. In order for us to see the kids we have to go down and pickup and dropoff.

She told us that there is a law in place that states if the parent lives out of state, then its that parents responsibility to dropoff and pickup. I just want to know what the law says. We have been doing this for 2 1/2 years, and cannot tell you how much money, wear on our vehicles, patience we have lost over this issue. This was one of the reasons why we went to see an attorney. Even his interpretation after reading the agreement was that we are both responsible for the pickup/dropoff. If she didn’t comply, we could do a contempt of agreement.

Someone please answer this question, I am really at the end of my rope with this whole thing. She continually holds the kids against us, and its getting really old. Please, please answer, and if possible, give me the state statute that says it, so we can print out what it says and send to her.


#2

The law does not address this issue in statute, and every case is different so a judge would have to decide this issue. The mother is not in contempt as the order says nothing about transportation.

If the issue is brought before the court a judge may order the arrangement continue as is, as the father is the one who relocated.


#3

Thank you for the quick response to the email. Can you please give me the name of a very qualified attorney in Elizabeth City that we could hire, to amend somethings in the agreement, such as this, child support, etc. We are fully aware that the judge may side with her on the things that we want changed however, we want to try.

We visited one a couple of weeks ago, and was not impressed at all.


#4

From experience, a lot of attorneys will tell you whatever you want to hear to get the case and your money. You will most likely spend more money trying to get the transportation expenses changed (and probably will not win), than continuing to do the transportation. In the meantime, filing a motion for something really trivial is likely to anger the mother and result in whatever relationship there is going downhill fast, as in turbo speed.

Your husband should really think long and hard before going down that road.


#5

Robinp -

That was one of the issues for getting an attorney. Another issue is child support. When the child support was figured out between them, both of the children were going to private school, and needed before and after care. This was 900.00 per month. My husband pays 1200.00 in child support. Both children have since stopped going to private school, nor do they need before and after care. We are requesting modification of the child support order based on that. According to the state of NC, child support calculator, my husband is responsible for 51% and exwife 49%. She makes 400.00 less than he does. That changes his child support to 831.45 quiet a change.


#6

As far as the child support goes, I believe that a motion to modify child support would need to be filed for change of circumstances.
I think the travel expenses can be figured into the child support if the mother is not willing to agree to be partly responsible for this, but that would be up to the court. It could be that the judge could order the arrangement to stay the same since the father is the one that relocated and there has been no issue for this amount of time, but the judge could just as easily ask that the mother start taking some of the responsibility on due to the ever changing circumstances of visitations…
Need to speak to an attorney to file for modification of child support and if the mother is not willing to agree to meet halfway or take drop off or delivery “duty” then find out if you can add that as an extraordinary expense.


#7

That is exactly what we are going to do. File a motion for modification of child support, for a change of circumstances. The reason that we have been doing this for 2 1/2 years is that, we were lead to believe that she is the Primary/Sole custodian on the children. When in fact after getting the paperwork interpreted for us, they are both custodians. She has held this over our head for a very long time. She has her interpretation of the agreement, and now we have ours. It is going to take for us to go to court to have a judge decide the transportation issue and child support. I’m hoping the judge will tell them both what they are responsible for, because unless it is told to her by a judge, she will not believe it.

My only concern is that in the separation agreement, they didn’t put in a child support worksheet. This could work against us. As she could say that it was verbally decided that my husband would pay 1200.00. It does state in there though, that the children were in private school. So hoping that the judge will take that into account. Like I said, she makes 400.00 less than my husband. Child support is the responsibility of both parents, not just the one that decided to leave. Its unfortunate, but they wouldn’t make laws for divorced parents, if it wasn’t going to happen.