Addressing Transportation Issues for Parenting Time Exchanges

Being Proactive in Your Custody Arrangement Can Mitigate Tensions Concerning Transportation Responsibilities While Co-Parenting in New Jersey

Parenting Time Provisions Regarding Transportation in New JerseyIf you are involved in a co-parenting situation that requires your children to be transported to and from their other parent’s time with them, then you might have first-hand experience with the tensions that can arise when there is perceived inequality between which parent is doing more of the driving. For divorced or separated parents in New Jersey, understanding the legal considerations that you should take into account when arranging transportation for parenting time exchanges is vital.

We understand that the journey of co-parenting is not easy, especially when the question of who bears the responsibility for transporting your child to the other’s parenting time and home again becomes a point of contention. If you are the one doing most of the driving or you’re spending hours on the road each month in what seems like an undeserved favor to your ex, the situation probably feels far from equitable. However, taking a proactive approach to this issue instead of letting it fester can significantly improve the outcome of your current struggle. By understanding the factors that influence transportation decisions by the courts, the role of parenting time agreements, and insights from New Jersey case law, you can empower yourself to navigate the issue more effectively.

Court Considerations for Equitable Transportation Arrangements in NJ

If you have a parenting agreement that contains terms on how transportation to and from parenting time will be handled, then those terms will be binding on the parties unless and until the terms are modified. When the parties cannot come to an agreement or when one party seeks to modify the agreement, there are many factors that can go into a court’s determination on how parenting time transportation should be handled. However, the court’s overarching concern will always be the best interests of the child. In consideration of the child’s best interests, the court will look at the modes of transportation needed in each scenario, the child’s age, any special needs of the child, the child’s school schedule, distance between the parent’s homes, and more.

After prioritizing the child’s best interests, the court will also consider what arrangement would be equitable to the parents. In a New Jersey case, Devorak v. Devorak, two parents were in a disagreement about where they should exchange their children for the father’s parenting time. The court looked at the history of their arrangement and circumstances from the time of the dispute back to their divorce decree. Considering first the best interests of the children, the court found that it was “fair and equitable [for them] to share in the transportation responsibility” and that, in their particular circumstances, it would be appropriate for them to meet at a location at an equal distance between their two residences.

Key Aspects to Draft a Comprehensive Parenting Plan That Covers Transportation

The more that parents can anticipate potential co-parenting tensions in advance and make a legally binding plan for how they will address those situations, the smoother the co-parenting journey will go. Drafting a comprehensive parenting plan that addresses what might seem like ancillary issues like transportation responsibilities to and from parenting time is a prudent first step in minimizing future conflicts and inequalities. Agreements should be as detailed as possible, outlining terms like pick-up and drop-off times and locations, who will be responsible for driving when and where, what modes of transportation will be used, and back-up plans for unexpected circumstances.

Detailed Provisions Including Transportation and Parenting Time in NJ

The Attorneys at Our Firm Will Help Outline Detailed Provisions Including Transportation and Parenting Time in NJIt is common for custody and visitation orders to contain specific provisions regarding transportation to and from parenting time. However, these provisions are not always included. Ideally, they will be, and an experienced family law attorney will advocate for the inclusion of such terms when needed. In establishing such orders, the court will generally take such factors into consideration as the child’s age, school location, school, and extracurricular schedule, relationship with each parent, the location of each parent’s residence, the work location and schedule of each parent, and modes of transportation available.

Once an order is issued by the court, the parties must comply with the terms of the order, or they risk being held in contempt of court.

Can Transportation Conditions Stipulated in Custody Orders be Modified?

Yes, it is possible to modify the transportation responsibilities within custody and visitation orders when there are significant changes in circumstances that warrant a modification. This can be done through a petition to the court. As with all decisions, the court will prioritize the best interest of the child in deciding whether or not to modify the order and how to modify it, but the court will also consider significant practical, logistical needs for adjustment, which may involve changes to a parent’s work schedule, parent’s work location, parent’s place of residence, the child’s school schedule, and other factors influencing the child or the situation.

The court will not flippantly change the terms of a custody or visitation order. When you petition for a modification of an order, you will have the burden of proving that significant changes in your circumstances warrant a modification. A family law attorney at Bronzino Law Firm that is experienced in handling such petitions can help you to assess whether the court is likely to consider your changed circumstances significant enough to modify the transportation responsibilities within your custody or visitation order and, if so, present the evidence to the court in your petition in an effective and persuasive manner.

Talk to Our Child Custody Attorneys about Kids Transportation During Visitation in Ocean County, NJ

To discuss your specific circumstances with one of our experienced custody and family lawyers, please contact us today to set up a free consultation. With local offices in Brick and Sea Girt, we have been serving clients since our firm was founded over a decade ago. Whether you need help with custody, parenting time, or visitation matters in Oakhurst, Sea Girt, Neptune, Point Pleasant, Monmouth Beach, Wall, Rumson, Middletown, or elsewhere in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, count on our firm for the assistance you need now. Contact us at (732) 812-3102 for a free consultation.