Hi. I live in Florida and have been divorced for 3 years. My ex and I share custody of our two children. We have always had about 50/50 when it comes to visitation. Recently, he told me that he is planning on moving 3 hours away this summer and would like to have the children once a month, on the weekend. He wants me to drive half way to meet him for pick up and drop off. I have a few questions about the move. Am I obligated to meet him in the middle for drop offs and pick ups? During the summer, when he has the children for visitation, do I pay for camps he puts them in (as I get child support), or is he responsible? Can parents have shared custody when they live 3 hours apart or should the primary residential parent have sole custody? Lastly, if the children will now be living with me almost all of the time, is he able to claim one of the children on taxes, or do I claim them as they will be with me almost always?
Most child custody court orders require the parents to make good faith efforts to work together in picking-up and dropping-off children. Restrictions regarding pick-up and drop-off may vary from state to state. For instance, some state laws may require a parent that lives out-of-county from the custodial parent’s residence to pick-up and drop-off the child. You should review your custody order to see if there are any restrictions regarding the transportation of your children.
In regard to the camp payment, he will have to pay for the costs, unless you agree to assist him. In regard to sole and shared custody, yes, either one can exist. The parents can agree to continue to share custody of the children, or request a custody modification in which one parent may become the sole (physical custody) custodian of the children.
He will not be able to claim the children on his taxes if you claim them the same year. Usually, the custodian parent is permitted to claim all the children that reside with him/her on their income taxes. Note, in shared custody situations, it is common for parents to alternate years for the child tax credit.