When divorcing parents disagree on teen driving or type of car

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Child Custody |

Custody discussions can involve many issues, no matter the age of the child or children.

With teenagers in high-asset divorces, one point of contention may be whether the parents should allow their teen to drive. Another could be the type of car the teen drives.

The child’s maturity

When parents disagree on whether their teen should drive, the court may have to make the final decision. It will consider each parent’s perspective, the child’s wishes and the overall safety of the child.

One important factor is the maturity level of the teen. The court will assess whether the teenager can handle the responsibilities that come with driving. This includes evaluating the teen’s behavior, their ability to follow rules and their academic performance. The court is more likely to consider a teenager who consistently shows responsibility in other areas of life as mature enough to drive.

The teen’s desire to drive and the reasoning behind it can provide insight into their maturity and responsibility. However, the final decision will always rest on what is in the best interests of the child.

Safety concerns

Safety is a concern when deciding if a teenager should drive. Parents may disagree based on their perceptions of their child’s driving skills or the inherent risks of driving. The court will consider any evidence of the teen’s driving ability, including their performance in driver’s education courses and any incidents that occurred while driving. If one parent presents valid safety concerns, the court may side with the more cautious approach.

Luxury cars often come with advanced safety features such as automatic braking, lane departure warnings and enhanced airbag systems. Parents might argue that a safer, more advanced car could reduce the risks associated with teen driving. On the other hand, some parents may feel that a high-performance vehicle could tempt the teen to engage in risky driving behaviors.

Financial implications

Luxury cars come with higher costs for insurance, maintenance and repairs. One parent may believe that a more economical car would be a more prudent choice. A parent might also view the financial responsibility of maintaining a high-value vehicle as a potential learning experience for the teen.

Impact on custody arrangements

The decision on whether a teen can drive can also influence custody arrangements. If one parent lives in an area that requires the teen to drive to school or work, this might weigh in favor of allowing the teen to drive. Driving can also facilitate smoother transitions between households, especially if the parents live far apart.

Overall, various factors go into these decisions. Teen driving can be a very situation-specific issue.