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  • Writer's pictureJared Davies, Lawyer

Travel expenses in exercising parenting time after a parent has relocated

If parties live far away from each other, there may be an excessive gas expense or plane ticket necessary for access to the child. Section 39.4(9) of the Children’s Law Reform Act reads:

39.4 (9) If a court authorizes the relocation of a child, it may provide for the apportionment of costs relating to the exercise of parenting time by a person who is not relocating between that person and the person who is relocating the child.

In SV v RV, 2022 ONSC 4850, there was a relocation dispute. The mother successfully moved with the child. As a periphery, and in a brief manner, the court stated that the travel expenses associated with the child, in the father’s access visits, were to be divided based on who was travelling with the child. However, the travel expenses associated with the father were acknowledged in the father’s child support obligation. Notably, it was not clear what the father’s costs of exercising access actually were, but it involved, presumably, airfare from Ottawa to Thunder Bay. And it also appeared the mother conceded on this issue. On the issue, the court stated:

The father's monthly child support obligation shall be reduced by $150.00/mth to account for the increased costs incurred by him in exercising parenting time.

In Cromwell v Delisle, 2021 ONCJ 109, the mother was also successful in moving the child to Nova Scotia. However, the court stated that because it was not certain whether the father would actually exercise his access, child support would not be reduced. Instead, the court made either parent responsible for their own travel costs in exercising access.

In Lepine-Maynard v Majstorovic, 2022 ONSC 656, the mother was successful on her relocation proceeding to New Brunswick. As we saw earlier however, it was the mother, again, who conceded on the issue of a reduction of child support for the purposes of the father exercising access:

If the court authorizes the relocation of a child, it may provide for the apportionment of costs relating to the exercise of parenting time by a person who is not relocating between that person and the person who is relocating the child: see s. 39.4(9) CLRA.

The mother has offered to waive the Respondent's payment of $400 in child support in the month that he travels to Moncton, New Brunswick for the purpose of exercising parenting time.

This is a fair and reasonable approach to the apportionment of costs relating to the exercise of parenting time by the father.

The cost of travelling to Moncton will exceed the $400 in support that the father would be saving, however, it provides for some financial relief.

In Zawahreh v Alkhoury, 2021 ONSC 7956, the mother was successful in her relocation proceeding to Quebec. While little analysis was conducted into travel expenses associated with the father’s access, the court did briefly mention:

The mother is permitted to move to Montreal, Quebec with the three children.


After the relocation, the mother shall compensate the father for the cost of gas for the monthly parenting time, if the father continues to reside in Ontario.

Notably, this was not subtracted from the child support obligation nor argued upon in the reasoning. However, what is clear from all the cases is that a court is more than willing make the parent who moved contribute a portion of, or pay in full, the costs associated with the other parent’s travel expenses to exercise parenting time.

Obvious takeaways? After a parent has relocated with the child, there is case law to suggest that the other parent may have reduced child support obligations to accomodate the expense associated with travel for parenting time.


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