Divorce Attorneys Providing Assistance with Automobile Insurance Concerns for Children after Divorce in Brick, NJ
One particular issue has plagued many divorced parents long past their divorce when their children reach driving age: car insurance for their young driver. Who pays?
There is a multitude of issues and potential challenges that need to be addressed and resolved amidst a divorce. When a couple decides to split, they must work together with their attorneys and even a mediator or a judge in Family Court, to identify all marital property and equitably distribute it; they must determine whether spousal support payments will be provided to one spouse and for how long; they must come to an agreement on custodial arrangements if there are children involved, as well as develop parenting time agreements that provide the child an opportunity to spend time with both parents; and they must determine weekly or monthly child support payments.
When a couple is getting a divorce, and their children are still young, the bustle of parenting time agreements and custodial arrangements take up all mental space, and some balls get dropped. Some of these balls include long-term considerations for the evolving needs of children as they grow. Why don’t divorce attorneys catch such issues? Well, some prefer to rely on modifications to child custody and support arrangements when the time comes, so they don’t even bring it up. However, making modifications to things like child support arrangements can be time-consuming and costly because they require re-entry into the court system, so it’s best to address children’s future needs in the original child support and custody agreement arrangements if possible.
Do I have to add my child to my car insurance in NJ?
According to New Jersey law, all drivers must possess a driver’s insurance policy. As such, your child will need automobile insurance to be allowed to operate a motor vehicle on New Jersey’s roadways. You can financially contribute to this policy, but your young driver will need to have their own.
How does car insurance work for children of divorced parents?
As part of a child support payment agreement between divorcing parents, a child’s financial needs are considered according to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. These Guidelines raise the issues of the various financial needs a child will have to have met to ensure their best interest as they grow. Such needs include their basic needs such as food and shelter, child care, healthcare, insurance, and medical expenses such as over-the-counter medications and doctors’ visits.
In 2013, these Guidelines were updated, and one of the updates, as explored in the case of Fichter v. Fichter (2015), regarded car insurance for a young driver. The couple in the case divorced in 2011, and at the time, they had a 17-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter. When determining weekly child support payments, they took in the car insurance payments for the 17-year-old son. However, they did not have an established arrangement when the time came for the daughter to begin driving. The father, who provided regular child support payments, would cover the additional cost of split car insurance payments.
The judge presiding over Fichter v. Fichter, in reviewing the 2013 update to the Child Support Guidelines, noted that it was written in the amendment to the Guidelines that “principal cost, finance charges (interest), lease payments, gas and motor oil, insurance, maintenance, and repairs” would be included as automobile expenses a parent paying child support would be expected to contribute to. Given that it could be taken literally that “insurance” means the young driver’s auto insurance, the judge determined that a contributing parent would be required to modify and augment contributions to allow for these expanded expenses.
Who pays for the car insurance for my teen driver in Holmdel?
As noted above, according to The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines, auto insurance costs are included in the required expenses covered by child support payments.
If you are in the midst of a divorce, and you have a young child who is not yet of driving age, it would behoove you to consider that you will one day be required to include driver’s insurance payments with your ex-spouse in the weekly expenses owed. As such, write into the child support arrangement that comes at a certain time, the payments will be increased to reflect this contribution. If you do not write this modification into the original child support payment arrangement, the child support agreement will have to be modified in court when the time comes, which is best handled with help from an experienced divorce lawyer.
Negotiating Child Support-related issues in Ocean or Monmouth County? Contact our Family Law Attorneys Today
If you are involved in a divorce and are negotiating child support terms, it is essential to have the support of a family law attorney on your side. At Bronzino Law Firm, we understand how important it is to ensure that your children are taken care of in a divorce. We successfully represent clients in Jackson, Township, Keansburg, Colts Neck, Red Bank, Little Silver, Tinton Falls, and towns in Monmouth and Ocean County to address key questions and concerns, for now and the future, with a child support arrangement that serves your child’s best interest.
Contact us at (732) 812-3102 for a free consultation to discuss your child custody and support arrangements.