When you become a parent, nobody tells you that you will become a personal taxi driver for your children! You will drive them to their sports activities, their music lessons, their friends’ homes and, if you have separated from the other parent, you might have to do some driving to and from their other parent’s home.
I enjoy driving my children around to their activities. I view it as an opportunity to talk about everything going on in our lives. Sometimes we talk about something they hear on the radio (news, sports or opinion pieces). Sometimes we talk about the daily events of their lives. Sometimes we just talk about the weather or maybe someone will say “hey, that’s a nice looking car”. It doesn’t matter what we talk about… the point is we are talking.
When parents separate, the question often arises: who should do the driving when the children move from one parent’s home to the other?
If you and the other parent cannot work out an agreement on your own, here are the general principles used by most judges in Ontario:
- If the children reside primarily with one parent, the other parent should do the pickup and drop off of the children. The reason for this is that it is assumed that the primary parent does more driving of the children to their activities since they are with them more often.
- If the parents share equal time with the children, they should share equal driving responsibilities.
- If one parent, moves far away from the other parent, the moving parent will usually have to do most of the driving for access exchanges.
Often clients argue about who has to do the driving. Neither wants to do it. At the high price of gasoline these days, I can understand their desire to minimize the amount of driving. On the other hand, the opportunity to spend time with your children, without the distraction of the television and the computer, is precious. I say “Don’t argue too hard.”
Take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with your children. Soon they will be leaving home and you will long for hours spent together going somewhere…. anywhere….. together.