Having a new teen driver adds a whole new list of worries to your life. If you and your co-parent are divorced, you also need to deal with the fact a significant part of your child’s learning and early driving experience will take place when you’re not with them.
If you and your co-parent are both going to participate in your child’s “hands-on” training, you’ll likely need to keep track of how many hours you’ve spent in the car with them and what kinds of driving situations they’ve experienced (various kinds of roads and weather as well as daytime and nighttime driving, for example) for them to get their license.
Consistent rules are crucial
Once your teen has their license and can drive on their own, it’s best if the two of you have clear and consistent rules about driving, regardless of which home your teen is in. These can include things like asking permission to take the car, telling you where they’re going, who they can have with them in the car and phone and other electronics use.
Fortunately, under the Graduated Licensing Program, Louisiana sets some important rules of its own. You can show your solidarity as parents by having your teen sign a parent-teen driving contract with both of you.
Updating your insurance policies and possibly your child support agreement
You’ll likely each need to add your child to your auto insurance policies. If your child is going to have their own car, they may need their own policy or you may be able to add them to just one of yours. It’s best to talk to your insurance agent.
Having a new teen driver creates some new expenses – like driver’s training, a higher insurance premium and more money for gasoline, to name a few. It’s worth considering whether a modification to your child support agreement is warranted.
This is an exciting, frightening and ultimately a memorable time in your child’s life. The better you and your co-parent can work together throughout it, the better those memories will be.