Planning Ahead: Co-parenting and Car Insurance

Managing all of the details of a divorce is difficult. While most know that discussions need to occur regarding assets, property, investments, and child support or visitation schedules, several other topics also deserve your attention. One thing you may not be thinking about at the time of your divorce is who will pay for your child’s car expenses when they start to drive. These expenses can include everything from the car itself to upkeep and maintenance. One specific aspect that needs to be considered is that of car insurance.

Who’s in Charge of Your Child’s Car Insurance?

Ultimately, this question must be answered by your car insurance company, as some insurance companies will require the child to be covered on both policies. However, if the child only needs to be covered on one policy, this topic will need to be negotiated between you and your ex.

Often the custodial parent, or parent with the most custody time, is required to cover the child’s car insurance expense. You may want to check with your insurance company to determine whether or not your teen driver would then be covered when driving any of your ex’s vehicles. If you have joint custody and your child has regular access to vehicles at both homes, you will likely both need to add the new driver to each car insurance policy.

What if Your Teen Driver Has Their Own Car?

First, a teen driver will save thousands on car insurance by listing their vehicle under their parent’s policy, rather than getting a separate policy to cover their car. If the teen bought the vehicle themselves, you might want to research both policies to determine which parent will get the teen driver a better deal on car insurance. At that point, you will need to discuss who’s in charge of paying that premium. Will it be the teen driver, parents, or a combination?

For teens who are fortunate enough to have a parent buy them a vehicle for their use, the parent who purchased and titled the car should carry the car insurance on that vehicle. Again, you will want to check whether or not your teen should also be listed as a potential driver on your ex’s policy as well.

Is Car Insurance Part of Child Support?

Most states do not include car insurance in a child support order. When determining a child support order, the courts consider parental income, the number of children, and time spent with each parent. Child support covers basic living expenses such as shelter, clothing, and food. Car insurance and other vehicle expenses go above and beyond these basic living expenses and need to be addressed as such.

If you divorce when your children are young, car insurance might be the last thing you’re thinking about as you develop your divorce settlement. As your children grow, it’s important to discuss these expenses and how they will be covered. If you and your ex cannot agree on coverage of vehicle expenses for your teen driver, a family law attorney can help you negotiate an agreement. Family Matters Law Group is ready to help you with co-parenting issues such as car insurance coverage. Contact us today to get started.