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Topics - justme

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Visitation Issues / "Shared" transportation
« on: Jul 03, 2009, 05:02:25 AM »
This is a rather complicated story but I hope someone can offer some of their own experience.
I live in NY state, and my also ex lives in NY state about 4 hours away.  We've been divorced since 12/07 and separated since 12/05 when he moved to where he is now.  Our agreement/order is relatively vague as to costs of visitation and simply states that we will share in transportation.  He has visitation every other weekend 6PM Friday to 6PM Sunday.  Until recently, we worked it out without a problem.  Sometimes I would meet him halfway, sometimes he would do most of the driving, sometimes I was able to drive her farther.  We never paid attention to the 6PM time because it never worked for either of us.  Our daughter recently reached an age where she can travel unaccompanied on the train.  The train is very convenient for both of us.  However, my ex has now started making demands that I pay 50% of the train fare.  When I refused, he deducted the money from my support.  I then took him to court and won because our order specifically doesn't allow for deductions.  The NY support collection unit now handles the support payments so he cannot make any more deductions.  The visitation transportation costs were not addressed at that court session.  He still insists that I should be paying for half of the train fare, and that if she doesn't go on the train I have to meet him at 6PM halfway between or I am interfering with his visitation.  I work until 5:30 on Fridays, and I volunteer with an EMS corps from 6PM to 6AM Sunday nights so I have to stay within our distract.  The train station is outside of our district so I can't even pick her up there after 6.  He insists that she comes home on a train that arrives at 6:10. 
We used to work these things out very easily.  We both just adjusted our schedules to get the job done.  Now he e-mails me with a schedule he knows I can't do, such as meeting him half then when I offer what I can, he tells me he is going to take me to court for interfering with his visitation.  I'm not worried about court - I have much documentation where I encourage him to spend more time with her and times where I told him that he could have weekends that weren't officially "his", and I have done about 1/3 or more of the driving this year so I am officially "sharing".  I don't think the court will tell me to take time off from work or my EMS responsibilities.  And my daughter is available at 6PM unless she has an activity of her own.  But if he does take me to court, I would like to get the responsibilities and costs clarified.  I have shared in the transportation for the sake of our daughter, but my feeling is that he should be responsible for the transportation since he moved so far away of his own choice.  In fact, the divorce was granted on abandonment.  I started working full time this year and a four hour drive on a Friday night is exhausting, so I would like to be relieved of having to meet him half way.
In cases like this, what responsibility does the court generally expect of the non-custodial parent?  I'm thinking that since he moved away, I'm being extraordinarily generous driving her anywhere.  I'm just wondering what the standard is in NY state.  And if there is any written guideline that I could use in court I would appreciate it.
PS - This might give you some insight on the personality I am trying to deal with...  He has stated that he doesn't want to waste time responding to my e-mails so he says he will only answer e-mails on the 1st of each month.

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