We live across the country from my step-daughter's mother. The agreement that was made originally (4 years ago) was that the parent who was starting their parenting time would fly to the other state to pick her up, and would be responsible for the cost of her travel (as well as the cost of their own travel). That is what we have been doing for 4 years.
Now my step-daughter is getting old enough to consider flying unaccompanied. It is a big change, as it requires a direct flight and no red-eyes. There are no direct flights in and out of our hometown airport, just out of the big city airport 3+ hours away. Mom's city offers direct flights to that big city airport near(ish) us.
Mom wants to change the agreement so that they split the cost of her actual plane ticket rather than each paying for the leg of the flight they are currently responsible for. Her reasoning is that at times one person's ticket is much more expensive than the other person's (usually because of timing of school breaks).
I am NOT interested in changing the way we finance things. Among my reasons are that I want to be able to handle our finances independently of hers-- I want to be able to use frequent flyer miles (we have a TON), I want to be able to use a credit card or an airline's payment plan, etc. Also, I think there are SO many things we haven't considered yet, like what the actual cost of getting to the big city airport is (for example, we only have one car and may need to rent one to get her there, we might have to go down the night before and stay in a hotel for an early morning flight). I want to know what costs are being included before we agree to the change. Third, there may be times one parent or the other chooses to fly out to pick her up in order to participate in an event with her, see a performance she is in, etc. I'm not clear how that would figure into the "new" equation.
I'm not unwilling to consider it, I just want the discussion to be separate from the discussions they are currently having about changing from a parent picking her up to her flying on her own.
In the meantime, I am trying to understand my own thinking and reasons. We have a bad history with her and it makes me hesitant to do anything she suggests because it always seems to have an ulterior motive or ends up having unexpectedly negative consequences. I often fight the desire to say no just for the sake of saying no and I always try to check my thinking and make sure I have *reasons* and not just *justifications* for doing what I want. I'd love any thoughts or discussion you might have as I think through it (and support my husband in thinking through it, as ultimately he is the one having the discussions with her and who must make the agreement). I'm happy to answer questions... I tried (unsuccessfully) to keep it brief, and I know there are lots of things I left out.
And, while I am looking for opinions and input and constructive feedback, I am not really looking to be yelled at, sarcastically belittled, or told what a terrible person I am for feeling the way I feel... so if that is your contribution, please don't feel like you need to share that perspective with me. :)