24 June 2024

How to overcome a long pick-up and drop-off distance in a care arrangement

By Lise-Milou Lagerwerf

When parents split up, agreements have to be made about the care arrangements.

If parents do not succeed in making these agreements together, the judge will decide on the visitation arrangement. Part of the agreements or the judge’s decision is the pick-up and drop-off arrangement. In other words: which parent picks up the children and which brings them back?

Pick-up and drop-off arrangements

If parents live near each other, making arrangements about this is often relatively easy. The children may even be able to be brought and picked up by bike. In some cases, the children can even walk or cycle independently from one parent to the other.

However, if one of the parents moves further away after the end of the relationship, it can be more difficult to make arrangements for pick-up and drop-off. Not only does the travelling time for the children become longer, but the parents also spend more time in the car. Picking up and dropping off the children – often on weekends – takes a lot of time for the parents, especially if the parents live on the other side of the Netherlands or even across the border.

Judgements of the Court

If the parents cannot agree on the pick-up and drop-off arrangements, the court can decide on the matter. It follows from case law that the starting point is that both parents bear half of the pick-up and drop-off costs. It is considered in the best interest of the children that both parents have a share in the pick-up and drop-off.

Often is decided that the parent to whom the children go, will pick up the children. That way, the pick-up and drop-off is shared by equally. This follows, for example, from the judgements of the ‘s-Hertogenbosch Court of Appeal of 23 November 2023 (ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2023:3910) and the Hague Court of Appeal of 20 December 2023 (ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2023:2677).

Care arrangement

If you or your ex-partner wish to move further away, you should therefore take consider that you will both have to travel that distance when picking-up and dropping-off the children as part of the care arrangement.

More information

Do you have questions regarding this article or need advice about your personal situation? Please feel free to contact us.

Lise-Milou Lagerwerf

Lise-Milou Lagerwerf

Lawyer

Lise-Milou specialises in family law. Her focus is on (international) divorces.

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