How Do We Split Travel Costs for Parent-Time?

When we're negotiating parent-time in divorces, this question always comes up: who pays for travel for parent-time? 

It's a good question because travel can, depending on the situation, be pretty expensive.

Here are a few rules of thumb regarding travel costs:

1.         If you live more than 150 miles apart when you divorce, then you will split travel costs 50/50. Usually, however, if you live this far apart, you are only exchanging the kids for parent-time about three times per year, so travel costs are limited by that number.

2.         If you live near each other, then one parent moves more than 150 miles away, the parent who moves will pay 100% of travel costs, except summer, which is split 50/50. So, if you figure you exchange the kids three times during the year for parent-time, the parent who moves will pay 83% of total travel costs during the year.

3.         If you live near each other and share regular parent-time, then the person picking up the kids for parent-time will provide travel. Really, this means parents split the cost of travel 50/50. Travel isn't expensive in these situations because parents live so close. 

There are nuances to these rules of thumb. For example, if you live in Salt Lake and your ex lives in Provo, you might well pick a halfway point (Bluffdale or Lehi maybe) and exchange the children there.

Things ultimately depend on your family's particular situation, but these rules of thumb are a good guide.

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