The months when a teen is learning to drive can be anxious for parents. When you’re divorced, that anxiety is likely to be heightened. You’ll likely be splitting up the time you’re out on the road with your teen behind the wheel, but communication between you and your co-parent on how your child is doing may be difficult or non-existent.
It’s crucial to remember that no matter how difficult it may be for you and your co-parent, the important thing is to make sure that your child is a safe driver and is prepared to drive on their own once they get their license.
Have consistent rules across households
Colorado, like other states, has a Graduated Licensing Program with restrictions for teen drivers like how many young passengers they can have in their car and what hours they’re allowed to be on the road. However, it’s also best for your child if the two of you have the same additional rules regarding things like keeping you informed about where they are and not taking the car without permission. A parent-teen driving contract (available on multiple websites) can help you outline your rules and expectations.
Make necessary changes to your insurance and child support agreement
If your teen will be using both of your vehicles, you’ll both need to add them to your auto insurance policies. It’s best to talk to your insurance agent to make sure you have the coverage you need.
It’s also important to determine whether any changes need to be made to your child support agreement. A new teen driver brings additional expenses. In addition to higher insurance premiums, you’ll likely be spending more on gasoline and car maintenance. There may be driver’s ed costs as well.
This is an exciting time for your teen. Don’t let it be marred by a lack of planning or by conflicts or lack of communication. With some thought and cooperation, you and your co-parent can help things go smoothly and safely for your child.