If you were considering moving out of Florida, or if your spouse were considering doing so, travel expenses could be a discussion topic during your divorce negotiations. In fact, even moving out of the greater Tampa area would increase the cost of travel noticeably. You may need to determine the cost of travel for yourself, your spouse or your children going between homes.
It could be a good idea to start from average numbers to determine who would be responsible for which expenses. Starting from facts could help inform the discussion how much help each parent needs to provide — in terms of covering transit costs, that is — in order to make it possible to satisfy the details of your parenting plan without undue financial burden.
Determining the costs
First, you may want to look at the general cost of travel in your city and in your co-parent’s city. The US General Services Administration has a potentially useful tool for calculating maximum reimbursement for per-diem travel expenses for federal employees. Data like these could be useful as you work out the relative costs of chaperoning your children back and forth.
Other factors you may want to take into account could include transit fare or third-party services. Your main goal would be creating terms that are flexible enough to follow and firm enough so that both parents contribute equitably to facilitating the custody agreement.
Choosing the terms
There are some common clauses you might encounter that could govern who pays for what in terms of travel. Make sure that you go through this language carefully, or, more appropriately, create legally binding terms that are specific to your unique family situation.
In the end, custody agreements involving long-distance travel do not have to be complicated. Once everyone understands all of the costs that might reasonably arise, it is often much easier to decide who is responsible and in what proportion.