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AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13568
Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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Our situation is this We live in Alabama. The non-custodial

Customer Question

Our situation is this: We live in Alabama. The non-custodial father lives 2 hours away and has shared custody every other weekend. We meet halfway for exchanges. He sent us a letter today stating that, while HIS address has not changed, both he and our son will stay at his parents house during their weekend together so as to enable our son to have his own room, which he cannot provide at his apartment. His parents live much closer to us and would make the halfway point much closer to us for exchanges. He wants, however, to keep the halfway point which only reflects where HE lives and not where the child will be residing during their visits. Advice?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 7 years ago.

Dear Jac,


Why would he want the transfer at the old place which is no longer convenient? Unless, it is still more convenient than meeting 1/2 between you and grandparents. Is he planning to go home to his apartment first, then to the granparents for the weekend? For instance, it could be that he meets you right from work, then wants to get home, get changed, etc. It is also not clear why he even told you where they'd be visiting during his visitation, since he has the right, presumably, to take his child to visit the grandparents during his visitation schedule, overnight or otherwise. In any event, I'd simply ask him why you can't have the midway point 1/2 between you and the grandparents. My bet is that he is still coming from his home area and and by making him go between your house and grandparents will actually be longer for him than the other. If the grandparent's live less than 1 hour from you, consider offering to just drop your child off at the grandparents and pick him up - it'll save you. Either way, the father is not reducing his driving on behalf of the son, since now he will be driving more than an hour to the grandparents. You'll only know by asking.



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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I should clarify. The issue is not the drop off in this case. It's more the pickup. After the pickup, they'll go to the grandparents house and stay for the weekend. We have no problem meeting him at the old halfway point for the dropoff (does that make sense?). They always spend Sundays at his grandparents house and come straight from there to the pickup place. By wanting to meet at the old halfway point, which is very close to the grandparents house anyway, instead of halfway from the grandparents and our home, he would barely have to drive at all. It seems petty, but he's a taker and not a giver. We've learned the hard way that he just takes advantage and he'll never reciprocate whenever we throw him a bone.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I guess the real question is the halfway point based from where the father lives, or where the father and the child lives during visitation?
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 7 years ago.

Your state of Alabama does not require a particular pick up/drop off. So, unless your agreement/decree specifies, nothing is carved in stone and neither party can force the other. So, if your agreement says "pickup/drop off at the 1/2 point between father's residence and mother's residence" - you can seek enforcement via motion. Beware though, he may cross move to get that order changed.


If you both can't come to an agreement, you can try to make a motion to the court to make an order dictating which spot the pick up / drop off should be. However, I really think a court will not appreciate a Motion based on that, particularly when we are only talking a small change (relatively). Also, it may not work to say that they are Living at the granparents each weekend, as opposed to visiting, since his legal residence is elsewhere. Also, if he decides for X weeks that he will be visiting somewhere 4 hours a way, you don't want any agreement that makes you have to drive to the 1/2 point where the father/child will be 'living' or visiting for the weekend - it could back fire.


Thus, answer to the real question is: "whatever you can convince the judge is most fair" - without ticking him off.


I know what you mean about being a taker. Consider not letting him know that this is ticking you off, his selfishness - and just stop throwing him bones. If and when he asks why you are not flexible with the favors, you'll be able to give him a great example.