The cost of travel for visitation may be assigned by the court upon either or both parents [Charisma R. v. Kristina S. (Charisma II) (2009)], or as additional child support [California Family Code § 4062 (b)].

It is the intent of the law to ensure that “children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage, or ended their relationship” [Fam. C. § 3020 (b)], The frequency and length of time for the visits may be determined and ordered by the court, at its discretion of what is for the best interest of the child [Fam. C. § 3100 (a)].

That is why there are also provisions that may be used to take into consideration the possible costs that may be incurred during the visitation of the non-custodial parent, if it is necessary. The court may order the establishment of a “travel trust fund,” where a specified monthly amount for visitation travel expense would be placed as a separate order or as an addition to guideline child support for amounts taken off formula support as a Fam. C. § 4057(b)(5) “special circumstances” adjustment.

To file for a petition in order to share visitation travel expenses, or the possible establishment of a travel trust fund with the noncustodial spouse, it is best to work with an experienced Family Law attorney.