Transportation and travel are important mediation topics. When parents live near each other, they may only need to decide the days and times children need to be picked up and dropped off.
Often parents live further apart. Then, decisions about transportation and travel are more complicated. When people live within a reasonable driving distance from each other (and the definition of reasonable varies greatly among parents), they need to think about the children’s needs, traffic patterns, and work schedules.
They may also need to discuss whether or not other people can carpool the children. For instance, when a child plays soccer twice a week at 4:30, parents need to discuss travel to and from practice. If both parents work until 5, they may need to ask a neighbor, a babysitter, or a friend to bring the child to soccer. When one or both parents have concerns about a particular person (e.g. not wanting a brand new 16 year old driver to transport the children, or worries about an adult with a DWI), they may decide to create a list of acceptable drivers.
When parents live too far apart to share transportation, different questions arise. How will the children get from one parent’s home to the other? Will a long car ride between the parents’ home interfere with homework on school days? Will parents need to arrange airline tickets or train reservations for weekend or holidays? Who will pay for the tickets? What kind of supervision is available to assure the children’s comfort and safety?
Circumstances may arise that require major changes to agreements about transportation and travel. When one parent moves to a different part of the country, the entire parenting plan may need to be reviewed. For example, if Mom‘s job requires her to relocate from Baltimore to Minneapolis, the daily, holiday, and vacation parenting plan will be affected. People return to mediation in order to discuss options and make workable decisions.