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Who pays for Kids that fly?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Just out of curiosity.  Who pays for the child to fly from one parent to the other?  Does the NCP always pay for all the travel cost plus child support for the months the child is not with the CP?

post #2 of 10

My DSS's mom moved away, while she had custody.  The parents' incomes were pretty similar.  DH paid child support and Mom was ordered to pay transportation costs for two of DSS's three annual trips back here, to visit.  It seemed generally understood that she was ordered to pay more because she unilaterally created the travel costs, but she wasn't made to pay ALL the costs, because it might have become unaffordable for her and the key idea was to make sure DSS got back here, not that Mom got what she "deserved".

 

DH chose to pay for Spring Break, in case he wanted to take DSS somewhere.  Mom was not cooperative enough for us to trust that she'd buy him tickets to/from Florida, if we were going there.  It was quite conceivable that she'd fly DSS where we live, *knowing* we were waiting for him somewhere else, then fly him back and have him skip the visit because no one was there to pick him up.  So, that left Mom paying for summer and winter break.

 

After DH got custody and Mom stayed away, the Court made her start paying for ALL of DSS's travel, because DH waived child support so she could spend that money coming here to visit DSS.

 

That sounds nice, but it hasn't worked.  Mom has visited less and less, while telling DSS that if he wants to see more of her, he needs to help her get custody back.  She also uses the power of the purse as a weapon:  

 

* She schedules DSS to visit her during holidays or special family occasions that we celebrate, but she doesn't.  In those cases, DH has bought DSS different plane tickets, at our expense.  

 

* She has been OK with DSS traveling as an adult and changing planes alone, long before the airlines would even allow it.  (No Unaccompanied Minor fees, that way.)  DH still doesn't think DSS's mature enough for that.  (Neither do I.)  But since DSS got old enough that the airlines would let her do it, she persistently buys tickets where he has to change planes by himself, in the biggest airports, at the busiest travel times, sometimes on the last flight of the day, so if he got stranded he'd be there overnight.  She will do this even when direct flights are available - or cheaper - or when she has to give up half her visit, to get DSS on the most objectionable flight possible.  The last time she did that, DH decided it was enough.  He pointed out a bunch of affordable, direct flights that would have given her a longer visit and told her to change DSS's tickets, or he wouldn't send him.  She didn't change them and DSS didn't go.  I assume that had become her goal, because she's primed to tell a judge that DH denied a visit!  Hopefully, the judge will have the sense to see that she flat-out threw it away, for spite.

 

Right now, we're going back to court.  DH is asking for child support, since Mom had stopped visiting.  He's also asking to start paying for - and scheduling - all of DSS's travel.  We'll see?

 

What do you guys do?

post #3 of 10

Our kids used to fly to their Dad's once a month, alternating holidays and summers. We split the cost of flights.
 

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

We pay 100% of travel cost including the unaccompanied minor fees and luggage fees.  We also pay the child support when the child is with us.  It is all put on us.  So it's "only when daddy wants you to come"  But that's not true cause say when we ask for the holiday, well, it has to be flying out the day after the holiday, and guess what school starts back in 3 days, so make it count.  My husband and I are dual income so it is what it is.  Her mom is a SAHM and husband doesn't ever keep a job.  So it's better if we just do it so she can be here, but we are about to start putting a bug in the mom's ear about us getting her for holidays.  Hey, it's better to ask for more and settle for less, right?

post #5 of 10

Just one note wrt child support being paid while the child is with the NCP... CS is calculated on a yearly basis, and then divided into 12 monthly payments. That calculation already takes the visitation into account. So, if it isn't paid over extended periods of parenting time, the monthly amount would be higher.
 

post #6 of 10
The receiving parent pays for the cost of travel to start their parenting time. This is, in our case, entirely separate from child support, as there is an assumption that both parents costs will be equal. This isn't always the case bc one parents ticket might be more expensive based on the travel date or because one parent didn't plan ahead... But we feel like in the long run it evens out. We each buy out own tickets, as well, so no one is paying the other person back for already-purchased tickets. The only exception is when my step-daughter occasionally flies solo (usually a parent flies out and picks her up) her mom pays us for the cost of travel to the nearest airport where she can get a direct flight.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

Just one note wrt child support being paid while the child is with the NCP... CS is calculated on a yearly basis, and then divided into 12 monthly payments. That calculation already takes the visitation into account. So, if it isn't paid over extended periods of parenting time, the monthly amount would be higher.
 

 

In our state it is different.  CS is set up, then after visitation is set up, it will be recaluculated depending on what your rights are.  We were stationed overseas, so he never went back and got anything reestablised.  We just pay, and get her as often as we can.  So when visitation wasn't set up, neither was an order of who pays what for cost.  We pay all, versus paying the court to get it redone.  And you are most def incorrect.  It has been 9 years this way, and we've reread it many times on that it would get reestablised at the next court date, which was never set up. 

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post

The receiving parent pays for the cost of travel to start their parenting time. This is, in our case, entirely separate from child support, as there is an assumption that both parents costs will be equal. This isn't always the case bc one parents ticket might be more expensive based on the travel date or because one parent didn't plan ahead... But we feel like in the long run it evens out. We each buy out own tickets, as well, so no one is paying the other person back for already-purchased tickets. The only exception is when my step-daughter occasionally flies solo (usually a parent flies out and picks her up) her mom pays us for the cost of travel to the nearest airport where she can get a direct flight.

 

So did you go to court, or is this just how both parties view it?  I have no problem it being equal.  I just feel like it's really our problem if we want to see her, and SD is so ready to see us.  We just want a little more time with her.  Our SD flies unaccompanied minor so it gets pretty pricy after tickets, and baggage and everything. 

post #9 of 10

Sort of both. It's in our court orders, but almost everything in there was a stipulated agreement (meaning both parties agreed to it and then a judge signed off on it, rather than the judge deciding when the parents couldn't agree). But travel (especially arranging and paying for travel) was something discussed directly with the judge because it was a pretty contentious issue,  and he indicated that if he were to have to rule on it because the parents couldn't agree, that is what he generally put in the orders. He felt it was cleaner because no one is trying to get money back from the other person, and both parties are invested in following through with their responsibilities because if they want their parenting time, they have to pay for a plane ticket... otherwise she would stay with the other parent and the receiving parent would be essentially forfeiting their parenting time. I hope that made sense. 

post #10 of 10
NCP, XH pays for all travel costs but CS was calculated by subtracting approximate travel costs (on a schedule) and summer camp costs from his "income".
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