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Sharing Transport Costs When Other Parent Moves

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  • Sharing Transport Costs When Other Parent Moves

    Hi there, I haven't been on the forum in quite a while but would really appreciate some input on this issue.

    I share joint custody of S5 with his mom and he lives primarily at his mom's place. At the time of our agreement, we lived in the same town, barely 1 km from each other, walkable most of the time.

    Last year she told me she planned to move with S5 to a nearby community (1/2 hour drive) to live with extended family. There is no transit service between the towns and neither of us had a vehicle at that time.

    I had no big problem with the move other than we needed to follow our Final Order from 2015 requiring the parent relocating to prepare a proposal taking into account adjustments needed to the parenting plan, impact of increased travel time on everybody and transportation costs. (Proposal didn't happen but I didn't make a big deal out of it).

    At the time of the move, my parents agreed to help with transportation and I was saving up to buy a car, which I bought a few months ago.

    Instead of a 10 minute walk or a 2 minute drive, exchanges now require me (or my parents) to drive over 100 km a week and spend 2 hours driving to see my son.

    We are currently renegotiating the terms of our agreement, mainly parenting schedule because S5 is school age now. Likely headed to mediation (her suggestion).

    Since she moved and my family and I have been doing all the driving for exchanges since, it seems reasonable that the transportation costs should be split evenly going forward.

    Mom of S5 doesn't agree, but doesn't drive and nobody in her family has a car. I work full time while she is not employed and lives with family. She is on OW and has been since his birth (despite S5 starting fulltime school in Sep 2017).

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining at all about doing all the driving on top of my full time job and paying for part of the costs, however the amount of $$ being spent right now is pretty hefty on top of full table support at my income level.

    Primarily, I would like to follow the agreement as ordered and to have my table CS reduced by 1/2 of the travel costs that became necessary when she moved.

    Does anybody have experience or advice on this issue, how to approach it in my proposal and what the rate per km should be?

    The 2018 CRA rate is 55 cents per km. I was planning to use that as a starting point for my proposal to the mediator but don't want to look like an idiot.

    Thanks for any help with this,

    YD23 (now 27!)

    P.S. I was able to find Ontario caselaw in our region that reduced the father's CS by a portion of the transportation costs for this exact reason.
    "Martinez v. Osborne, 2014 ONCJ 335 (CanLII)" Should I bring this info to mediation?

  • #2
    First mistake: Consenting to the move of the children.
    Second mistake: Thinking the court will penny pinch dollars and cents on this kind of driving.

    The allowable rate for driving is something like 54 cents per KM.

    100KM * $0.55 = $55 / weekend
    52 weekends * $55* / weekend = $2860

    I suspect it is EOW, in that case, $2704/2 = $1430.

    To put it in other terms:

    $2860 / $350 (cheapest lawyer/hour I have seen in a while) = 8.17 hours of billing.

    You have no case. You are fighting over pennies and the court system is not for people to nickel and dime each other like this. Get over it, move forward and not backwards.


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply Tayken. FYI, I'm certainly not planning on taking this to court

      This is one point of many that will be up for negotiation at our upcoming mediation session to reach a new agreement now that child is 5 and in school full time.

      At my income level, the amount of money being spent on transportation is significant and the clause to have it taken into an account when renegotiating was put into our final order by the judge.

      All I was asking for was if anybody had experience with this issue and at what rate per km.

      As for your sarcastic assumption of EOW, you're wrong. My child is in my care for part or all of 3-4 days a week.



      • #4
        As with many things in family law, there are different sides to the debate. Many people donít want to create animosity and that decision bites them in the future.

        This is all to say that Tayken is right. While you may not want to take this to court, you have to ask how far you are willing to push. From the sounds of it, your ex is complacent (and comfortable) in her current position which ends up putting a strain on you financially. She has no reason to agree to anything and she has a pretty good situation happening.

        You could argue for reduced cs on the basis that you have to spend to exercise your access but you have also agreed to this move.

        She should have found a job by now but there is nothing to say she must.

        There will be additional impacts to access and the childís lifestyle as he gets older due to the move.

        Going into this, while you do have an argument for reduced cs, if it is mediation, she doesnít have to agree.

        Thats not to say I donít encourage you to try. You know your case and your ex better than anonymous users on a forum. Mediation is good for those who are open to negotiating. You are, your ex may not be.


        • #5
          Thanks rockscan, you brought up some very good points and I will definitely take them into consideration going forward into mediation on this issue.

          There are a lot of other factors in play at the moment on top of the move. The reason I agreed with the move was the family member they went to live with provided a stabilizing influence day to day for both my child and his mom and things were pretty smooth for a long time.

          This is the first time we have tried to update the terms of the final order issued so it will be a learning experience for both of us I'm sure.



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