Do you want to know more about child visitation: pick up drop off responsibility?

This is a topic that is often debated between partners and the law in this area is non-existent. Namely, it is going to be up to parents to decide on child visitation responsibilities.

Read this guide to find out everything you need to know on transportation during child visitation.

Who Is Responsible for the Drop Off and Pick Up During Child Visitation?

There is no one legal ruling that states who is responsible for transportation during child visitation. Instead, this is something that is left to the parents to decide. When two people are separated and have children, there is always going to be a situation of picking up child and dropping them off.

A parenting plan can be a good way for parents to communicate child custody pick up and drop off. It can outline who is going to be responsible for this and what will happen on the days the child goes to stay or visit the other parent. Most of the time, this is something that can be amicable and be agreed upon between parents. It is all part of the splitting up process.

It is possible for one parent to be solely responsible but this is through a court order. It would outline visitation transportation responsibility and ensure that it is followed for the sake of the child. If a parent was to breach the court order, they could be in trouble.

Should the Receiving Parent Pick Up the Child?

Often, the common solution is that the receiving parent should pick up the child. This is thought to be the best thing to do when you have a young child. The reason is, it is more likely you are greeting the child and it can be a happy interaction.

This is rather than having to say goodbye, which might upset them. The handover can be pleasant and make sure that nobody becomes sad and it can create some excitement for the child.

It is important to remember that getting used to new arrangements is quite an adjustment for children. This is particularly true if they are young. They do not understand what is happening and why their parents are not living together anymore.

So, having the parent collect their child is less upsetting for the child. Often, they are busy doing something else and do not focus on moving around until it happens. This is opposed to getting in the car and having to leave.

Something else to think about is that the person that is receiving the child is likely to be fresher for driving. They are going to be full of energy and be ready to take on their child for a lot of fun activities. This is opposed to the person that has the child who may be tired and this could affect their driving and the safety of everyone.

What Should Happen With Non-custodial Parents and Visitation?

There are going to be times when not both parents have custody of the child. In other words, one parent is going to have full custody while the other simply has visitation rights. This allows the non-custodial parent to see their child a few times a week and they are often short visitations. This could be simply a few hours in the evening or during the day.

If this is the case, there is an argument about who should drop off or pick up the child. For example, there are some people that say a custodial parent should drop off the child. This is because the parent with visitation rights only has a short amount of time to see them. Transport might mean their time with their child is cut short.

However, there are some people that argue the non-custodial parent should still pick up the child. This is because the custodial parent has the child most of the time. They deserve to have a rest and they might be drained having to drive and transport the child. So, this can be a way that they get a break.

The best thing you can do is come to an arrangement with your parents. You can choose a plan that suits both of you and is fair on the child. You might find that a certain way works for you better than another way. As long as both of you are happy, this is what matters.

Could a Halfway Point Work?

It is possible that a halfway point will work for parents when it comes to drop off and pick up. This means that both of the parents are going to share transport each time, driving to a point that is half way for both of them. For example, say the journey is eight hours in total. This would mean that each parent would drive four hours.

Again, it is all down to cooperation and communication with your ex-partner. You need to come up with a plan that is going to work for both of you and cause less anxiety and stress to the child involved.

Getting to an agreement is particularly important as not all parents are going to live near each other. For example, there are plenty of situations where a parent lives in another town or even another state. In this case, transportation is going to be a lot different to parents that live in the same city.

Can School Be Used as a Changeover Location?

It is possible to choose the changeover location so that parents do not meet. This may be better if the parents do not get along and they do not want to see each other and create a bad atmosphere around the kids.

In this case, a good changeover location can be at school. This means that one parent would be responsible for dropping the child off at school in the morning. Then, the other parent would pick up the child after the school day had ended.

The most important thing is that both parents know the plan and do not get confused about what is happening. This way, the child has a smooth handover and does not get stressed or anxious about the situation.

It is possible the changeover location can change and be different from one week to another. This is something that will not be a problem as long as both parents know about it in advance and they agree to it. Cooperation and working as a team is important for parents and ensures the best and easiest changeover.

Who Is Going to Pay for The Transportation?

Most of the time, child transport is going to be a shared responsibility between the two parents. In other words, each one is going to bear the responsibility of driving or traveling with the child to get them to their destination.

This is going to include paying the money for this transport too. So, this could mean fuel for driving or paying for a bus, train or even plane ticket.

It would be unfair for one parent to pay for all of the transport costs. This would mean that they are financially burdened by something that should be shared between both parents. If this is written into the parenting plan and agreed by both parents, then this will not be a problem. In short, it should not be assumed that one parent will pay for everything.

Could One Parent Have the Responsibility of Drop Off and Pick Up?

There may be some cases where parents may not share drop off and pick up. This is going to depend on the circumstances. For instance, say that one parent is not able to drive a car.

There might be no way they are able to transport the children from their home to the other parent. In this circumstance, the other parent might enjoy driving and agree to take on this responsibility.

The most important thing is that both parents agree. It is possible to negotiate with your ex-partner and come to an arrangement. This could mean that one parent is in charge of all the transportation.

Can Someone Who Is Not a Parent Provide Transport?

Yes, in principle this is possible. Most of the time, it is parents that deal with transport when it comes to custody and transportation. But, this does not mean that it always has to be this way. In fact, it is possible for people that are not the parents to deal with the drop off or collection of the child.

For example, this could be a close friend or a grandparent of the child. It should always be someone that a parent trusts and that knows can handle this responsibility. One of the reasons why someone else might deal with transportation is that the parents do not want to see each other.

A parenting plan might specify who is going to be responsible for drop off and pick up. Sometimes, this can be vague and mean that anybody can provide transportation. But, there are some instances when parents are specific about this part of the agreement. So, it will be essential that you stick to the parenting plan and do not breach this.


Child visitation is something that most parents get to enjoy. This means spending quality time with your child. One thing that is always going to be involved in this scenario is drop off and pick up.

Let’s summarize what we have found out about this when it comes to child visitation.

  • There are no specific laws indicating who is going to be responsible for picking up or dropping off a child for visitation.
  • Parents are going to be in charge of transportation.
  • A parenting plan is a good way to detail who is going to drop off and collect children from a relationship or marriage.
  • A court order is another way transportation can be dealt with and it is possible for one parent to have sole responsibility for transportation.
  • Often, the receiving parent will pick up the child since this can encourage a happy interaction and less of a goodbye.
  • Children and how they are going to react should always be thought about when it comes to drop off and pick up.
  • It is always best to come to an arrangement between parents that works for both of them.
  • A halfway point may be appropriate where parents live far from each other.
  • School can be used as a changeover location and this means that both parents are in charge of drop off and pick up.
  • Transportation costs for visitation is going to be down to the person responsible for dropping off and picking up.
  • A parenting plan can outline how transportation costs will work.

Drop off and pick up is not something that has to become a problem for parents that have split up. Amicable and fair arrangements can be made that suit both people in a parenting plan.

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