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How Divorced Parents Can Cope When Teens Start Driving


When you arrive at a social gathering with an adorable new baby in your arms, the old folks will wistfully tell you that kids are full of surprises.  You probably think that they are talking about the first smiles and first steps, the hilarious mispronunciations and misspellings of common words, and the awful tantrums that make the sweet cuddles even sweeter.  They are, but they are also talking about the parents that the parents of babies cannot fathom, such as when teens start to drive.  Seeing your impulsive teen get behind the wheel of a two-ton machine is scary enough, but what is even scarier is if you are divorced, and your ex-spouse undermines all your efforts to keep your teen safe on the road.  A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you and your ex-spouse agree on ground rules when your son or daughter gets a driver’s license.

Which Parent Pays for the Newly Licensed Teen’s Car Insurance?

If your teen gets a driver’s license, he or she will need to be added as an insured driver on at least one parent’s insurance policy.  Each insurance company has its own rules about insuring teen drivers whose parents are divorced; some insurance companies require the parent who has parenting time on school days to add the teen driver to his or her policy.  It may be necessary to modify your child support order to reflect the costs of insuring a teen driver.

Co-Parenting a Teen Driver With Your Ex-Spouse Can Be an Obstacle Course of Conflict

The costs of insurance are just the beginning; there is plenty of room to disagree about the driving privileges of a minor and the costs associated with having another driver in the family.  These are some issues on which you and your ex-spouse might disagree:

  • Which parent pays for driver’s ed classes?
  • Which adults may ride with the teen when he or she practices driving with a restricted license? Can stepparents do it?  What about cousins?  Professional driving teachers only?
  • Once the teen has a full license, are his or her driver privileges contingent on grades or other obligations?
  • Where and during what hours may the teen drive?

If the teen gets his or her own car, who pays for it?  How much money, if any, should the teen contribute toward the cost of a car or insurance out of his or her own employment income?

If your ex-spouse was uncooperative and over dramatic about your children attending summer camp or going to birthday parties when they were little, you can expect a battle over your teen’s driving privileges.  A child custody lawyer can help you resolve these issues, even if it means going back to court.

Contact Schwartz | White About Co-Parenting on Wheels

A South Florida family law attorney can help you resolve disputes with your ex-spouse about your teenager’s driver’s license, driving lessons, car, and insurance.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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