Getting a driver’s license is a huge milestone for your teen, as they now have the freedom and ability to transport themselves without having to rely on others to drive them. It can also be an important milestone for you, as well, since your schedule no longer centers around driving your child to school or various activities. However, while this is an exciting time, it can also be a costly one as there are many expenses associated with driving.
Even if you do not provide your child with their own car, your auto insurance premiums can substantially increase when you add a new and inexperienced driver on your policy. If you already have a child support agreement in place, you may believe that the amount should increase as the expenses of caring for your child increase–and this can include insurance. You may not even want to increase child support but may want the other parent to contribute to driving expenses as “add-on” expenses that should be shared by both parties in addition to child support payments.
New Jersey child support laws were amended in 2013 and the law specifically address transportation costs as follows:
- To be included in child support – All costs related to using the parent’s existing car to transport the child or allow the child to transport themselves using the already-owned vehicle, including repairs, maintenance, fuel, and insurance.
- To be an add-on expense -Lease or purchase of a vehicle meant for the specific use by the child to whom the support order applies.
Under the above guidelines, adding a child to your auto insurance policy if you do not buy them their own vehicle should come out of child support payments. This can cause significant financial strain as insurance for new drivers is expensive and it impractically expects a parent to stretch an existing support amount. In response to this dilemma, NJ family courts have begun to rule that auto insurance increases on a parent’s existing car should be seen as a separate expense and courts may require additional contributions over the child support order to cover these insurance costs.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Child Support Attorney for Help
If you have a pending child support case, would like to seek a modification to a child support agreement, or have any other concerns regarding paying for your child’s expenses, please do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of Steven H. Fleischer, LLC for a free consultation. We handle a wide range of family law cases, so call today at 908-231-0052 for more information.