I was at lunch recently with a friend who practices criminal defense. We started talking about some of the family dynamics I see as a practicing family law attorney in Savannah when he recalled a country song about a step-parent’s troubles in raising his spouse’s children. Divorce is certainly ripe fodder for song-writers and particularly for country music song writers (insert “lost my dog, truck, and wife” joke here). You may recall Michael’s post from a year ago on the Pina Colada song. Anyway, my lunch conversation started my mind on songs I could think of that dealt with the issues of family law.
One of the first songs that popped in my head is “Highway 20 Ride” by Zac Brown Band. I remember this song on many Friday afternoons as I think about our current and past clients who are traversing the state after work to pick-up their children for their weekend visitation. An exciting trip, no doubt, but one tempered by the realities that, come Sunday, the same trip must be made again, this time sans child on the way back home. The song was co-written by writer Wyatt Durrette and Zac Brown (who had similar experiences growing up as a child of divorced parents). Wyatt wrote the song as a love song to his child. Wyatt lived in Atlanta, his ex-wife lived in Columbia, South Carolina, and every other weekend they met in Augusta, Georgia to exchange the child for weekend visitation, traversing the 2 hours each way along Interstate 20.
In our ever mobile society, the “Highway 20 Ride”, “Highway 16 Ride”, “Highway 75, 85, and 95 Rides” are increasingly common across Georgia. Sometimes, those “Highway 20 Rides” are a result of a move during the divorce itself and the transportation arrangements are worked out as part of the divorce process. Or, after the divorce is final, one of the parents has to move for new employment or for some other reason. In those situations, a child custody modification is required to work out changes to the visitation schedule itself that are needed because of the geographic change as well as who will be responsible for what portions of those “Highway 20 Rides”. And, sometimes, if it is the custodial parent who is moving and is creating the necessity of a “Highway 20 Ride”, that may be a basis for modifying custody altogether.
Are you facing a “Highway 20 Ride?” Those are tough, tough journeys. The Friday trip and the Sunday trip have two completely different sets of emotions attached to them. If you are curious how your “Highway 20 Ride” may impact modifying child custody or visitation, give us a call for a free consultation. We have certainly written many, many verses to that song. We know it well.
“And a part of you may hate me, but son, please don’t mistake me for a man who didn’t care at all.” Couldn’t be. That ride is all about caring, caring a lot.