Q: If I have sole legal custody, can my ex take me to court to pay for flight tickets when he comes out to see our son?
Ex has no parenting rights but I allow him to see his child. He is asking that I pay half of all flight tickets to make this happen and has threatened to take me to court if I don't pay
A: As I advise clients on a regular basis, you can take someone to court for just about anything. Getting the court to make you pay for half his travel costs is another matter. You are under no obligation to assist your ex with his travel expenses. If he cannot afford to pay for his own travel expenses, he likely also cannot produce thousands of dollars for a retainer for an attorney to "take you to court."
A: Sole legal decision-making is unrelated to parenting time. If he hasn't established parenting time, he can. He also can ask that you be ordered to pay half of the travel costs, including any unaccompanied minor fees. Based only on this, we can't predict whether he'd prevail or not. But you should evaluate the seriousness of his threat and the potential disruption should he follow through. If you think he might actually file, it might be worth it to you to pay a portion of the travel costs to preserve the status quo if that's favorable to you.
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