Highway 20 Ride – Song Blog

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The Song: Highway 20 Ride

How you know it: Highway 20 Ride was recorded and released by Zac Brown Band in 2009 and was the band’s third number one on the U.S. country singles chart.

The story behind the song: Highway 20 Ride tells the story of a father who drives “east every other Friday” to pick up his son near Augusta, Georgia. 

The song was written by Wyatt Durrette and Zac Brown and released by Zac Brown Band in 2009. The song was the band’s fourth number one hit. Durrette also co-wrote with Zac on the band’s first three number one hits: (“Chicken Fried,” “Whatever It Is” and “Toes.”

Durrettte and Brown wrote the song after Durrette and his wife divorced. She was apparently awarded primary physical custody of their son and he was awarded parenting time every other weekend. His son’s mother moved to South Carolina to be closer to her family after the divorce. Durrette lived in Atlanta and drove to Augusta every other weekend to pick up his son, which was the halfway point between their homes.

The song brings up several points about transportation between parents’ homes after a divorce.

Are parents required to meet halfway for parenting time exchanges?

In Idaho, there is no requirement for parents to meet halfway for custody exchanges. Some parents agree to make the halfway point the place to meet when they live far apart from each other to save themselves from having to make a long trip even longer. Atlanta is just over two hours from Augusta. Each parent is only driving two hours, exchanging their son, and driving another two hours back home. If they didn’t agree to this arrangement, the most common arrangement is for the receiving parent to be the one transporting the child. 

This means that Durrette would have to drive four hours by himself, pick up his son, and drive four more hours home. That’s eight hours of driving. As a songwriter, Durrette probably has a pretty flexible schedule that would allow him to make this drive during the day so that he could pick his son up right after school ends, but that would still put him home around 7 or 8 p.m. If he had a regular job, he probably wouldn’t be able to leave Atlanta until after 5 p.m. and assuming he didn’t run into any traffic, he wouldn’t get home until after 1 a.m. That’s a late night for both of them. In addition, his ex-wife wouldn’t have much of a Sunday either if she had to spend all day driving to come pick up their son.

Why should the receiving parent have to pick up the child for a parenting exchange?

Most people would agree driving four hours twice over three days is better than driving eight hours once every two weeks, but there is one advantage to the receiving parent doing all the transportation: the other parent doesn’t have to worry about the other parent not being at the meet-up point or have to wait on them if they are running late.

This arrangement is helpful in cases when the parent with primary custody doesn’t trust the other parent to either be somewhere on time or to exercise their parenting time at all. 

The least recommended option is to have the parent who currently has parenting time transport the child(ren) to the other parent’s house. The thinking here is simple: the parent with the child should just load him or her up into the car and drive to the other parent’s house. But nothing is worse than driving to someone else’s house and finding out they are not there. If the receiving parent doesn’t come pick up the child, at least you’re still at your house doing whatever it is you would otherwise be doing and not sitting in someone’s driveway trying to find out where they are and why they aren’t home.

Who is responsible for transporting a child after divorce?

In Idaho, the receiving parent is typically responsible for transporting a child after divorce and the cost should be split between the parents. However, it’s not uncommon for the court to order a parent who has relocated away from the children or other parent to be responsible for transportation. 

Contact Taylor Law & Mediation PLLC today to set up a time to discuss your co-parenting options.

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