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Who Pays for Travel for Child Visitation in Texas?

Who Pays for Travel for Child Visitation in Texas?

Child Custody Decisions Are Important

Issues Always Seem to Arise

Divorce. Custody Decisions. Parenting Plans. The list goes on and on. When you and your ex-spouse got married and had children, you likely never anticipated having to deal with these issues. But, here you are.

Unfortunately, life rarely goes as planned. Over time, both people and relationships change, and, often, going their separate ways is the most logical and healthy thing to do.

That said, when minor children are involved, this decision and how to effect it appropriately become increasingly more arduous.  The sheer number of choices to be made are mind-boggling, and coming to an agreement with your soon-to-be ex can be challenging.

Even those couples that agree to separate amicably can have significant differences of opinion when it comes to the custody and support of their children.

To complicate matters even further, determining conservatorships (how Texas refers to custody) goes far beyond simply identifying with whom your child will reside and when. The details are considerable.

Ensuring that all relevant issues are formally identified and outlined in your custody agreement is wise — you don’t want to leave anything up for interpretation. When issues are not determined ahead of time, additional conflict may occur. This can be unpleasant for you and unhealthy for your children.

There are a host of concerns that frequently arise regarding child custody issues in Texas. Because parents no longer live together, and may even not live in the same town (or state or country for that matter), travel may be necessary. One of the most common questions is: Who is responsible for transportation for child visitation in Texas? 

An experienced child support attorney at Evans & Herlihy can help answer all of your questions regarding child support, including those related to travel.  Reach out to them today at (512) 732-2727 to schedule a free consultation.

Understanding Child Custody and Child Support

Engaging the Guidance of a Reputable Child Custody and Child Support Attorney

Texas’s child custody and support laws are complicated, which is no surprise. The process of determining the details of where your children will live, and for how long, relies on many important factors.

Because differences of opinion often occur with regard to this issue, engaging a child custody and support attorney to represent you is critical. Navigating the law on your own is impossible; advice and counsel from a knowledgeable professional is the first thing you should do when planning for your future.

Custody Is Determined by Law

The laws that oversee Texas child custody are designed to protect the best interests of the child. Basically, they determine who has custody and when.  The Standard Possession Order outlines the initial decisions made with regard to how much time the child or children spend with each parent, including weekly schedules, holidays and vacations.

The factors that influence these decisions are important, but all are looked at with regard to the best interests of the child.

Some of the considerations taken into account include the wishes of the child (depending upon their age and ability to make such decisions), the involvement of the parent in the life of the child, the living situations of each parent, the household situation and the ability of the parents to work together.  Of course, issues like abuse (drug, alcohol, spousal or child) would weigh heavily.

The courts take a wholistic approach to reviewing the factors above when making their decisions, but the actual custody portion is just the beginning.

Child Support Can Be Complicated

While determining how much time your children will spend with you and your ex is a major decision, there are many other details you will want to iron out as you work through your divorce, including support.

Child support is money one parent pays the other to help care for the children. Determining child support is a complex process that involves examining a host of things, including both parents’ incomes and their debts.

This money is used for the care of the children, including housing (like rent or mortgage payments), food, medical expenses, education, and extracurricular activities.

In many cases divorced parents don’t live in close proximity to each other.  Sometimes the distance is easily manageable, like when they live in neighboring towns.

But circumstances don’t always allow this, and it is not uncommon for the homes of parents to be quite a distance from each other — sometimes even in different states. When this is the case, transportation costs for visitation can be significant. Many parents in this situation have a common question about who bears the cost.

Can You Deduct Travel Expenses From Child Support In Texas?

The answer to this, and many other concerns, can and should be addressed in the child support agreement that is made between parents at the time of the divorce.  Unfortunately, many parents neglect to focus on the details.

They believe that once the decision on where their children will live is made and general support is determined, the other things will just fall into place. All too often, they don’t. A detailed support agreement, one that also includes who pays for child visitation in Texas, isn’t being picky and going too far; it’s careful planning that alleviates future angst and conflict.

What Do You Do When Things Change?

As you are well aware, life is constantly changing. There may come the point when the decisions you and your ex initially made regarding custody and support may no longer fit your needs.  One example of this may be when one of the parents (who were initially living in close proximity to each other) has to move farther away.

This location change may result in the need to alter your custody arrangement and may also introduce costly travel into the equation.

Texas law allows for modifications to your agreement. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you should contact a family law attorney to work on your modification and address the travel costs and who will be responsible for them.

Leverage Knowledge When Outlining Child Support

Evans & Herlihy Has the Experience to Help

If you are getting divorced and have minor children, the first and often most important thing you should do is retain a seasoned family attorney.  The laws governing divorce and child support in Texas are complex, and the process can be emotional and draining.

Our team has decades of experience, and we are well-versed in the laws governing child custody and support. Additionally, we recognize how stressful this time of your life can be. Change, in and of itself, can be difficult to manage.

However, when the future of minor children is involved, the decisions made tend to be even more difficult and emotionally charged. We can provide a sense of calm and legally sound advice.

Contact Us Today

The guidance of our professionals provides independent and valuable direction, free of emotion. We understand the laws and are committed to protecting your parental rights in accordance with your children’s best interests.

Because we know the importance of little things, we focus on the details, ensuring that we help you plan appropriately and completely for the future.  Reach out to us today at (512) 732-2727 to schedule a free consultation.

We believe in the value of making a connection with your child support lawyer, and this no-cost meeting allows you to better understand our experience, our approach and just how powerfully we can support you. Our team is ready to begin work for you immediately.

Attorney Chip Evans

Austin Attorney Chip EvansChip Evans is a partner at Evans & Herlihy. Chip brings to the firm more than 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer representing Plaintiffs. It is the desire to help individuals, not corporations, that attracts Chip to this side of the docket. [ Attorney Bio ]