Ask a Divorce Lawyer: Doesn’t child support and alimony cover transportation costs?

Question: I have my children every Thursday night and every other weekend. In our divorce decree it says to “equally share transportation.” I told my ex due to this I would pick up the children for my visitation and she could pick them up from me. 

However, since it isn’t convenient for her she is refusing to pick up the children saying she has to take them to school and the babysitter everyday. 

She said her lawyer told her to document the mileage she uses to drop the kids off to school and the babysitter to make me pay for it and to document it as “unwillingness to cooperate with the visitation schedule.” 

But I am paying well more in child support and alimony than she would spend on gas mileage. So who’s right in this situation?

Answer: I must preface my answer that I am not licensed in Missouri.  As such you should contact a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction; Cordell & Cordell has many attorneys licensed and located in Missouri who would be happy to assist you.

Traditionally, “equally share transportation” means transportation to and from visitation.  Unless your divorce decree or Missouri law indicates otherwise, I would say that you are right in this situation. 

Since she is refusing to pick the children up from visitation, I would contact an attorney immediately.  If she is violating the court order, you could file a motion to the Court for a Contempt Order.  The Contempt Order will require her to either equally share in the transportation or face court sanctions which may include jail time.  This situation may be able to be resolved by a letter from your attorney to her attorney prior to going through the cost of filing a motion for contempt.  Because she seems to be assembling her case for reimbursement for her travel expenses, you should contact an attorney immediately to resolve the situation before it escalates further.


Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.

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