As we all unfortunately are too aware, New Jersey has probably the highest auto insurance rates in the country. This makes the cost of covering teenagers for auto insurance a very tense subject for parents, especially divorcing ones. For a long time, litigants and the courts were troubled over whether “transportation expenses” under the Child Support Guidelines included auto insurance when teens began driving. Various judges took various approaches to that question if it was not specifically addressed in settlement agreements.
Under the Court Rule modifications that went into effect in September 2013, it was specifically set forth that these expenses were not already included in the regular child support obligation. Specifically Appendix IX-A paragraph 8. Expenses Included in the Child Support Schedules, we are advised that
Transportation – . . . Transportation also does not include expenses associated with a motor vehicle purchased or leased for the intended primary use of a child subject to the support order.
Thus, in all applications made to the Court for contribution toward extra-ordinary expenses of the child, the purchase of a car, including the car loan or lease payments, repairs, maintenance and car insurance may not be considered as part of the child support obligation. It would still be at the discretion of the court, as to the amount, if any, of the Payor’s contribution toward these expenses but at least we can definitively state it is not already covered.
Please consult a Family Law attorney to discuss this issue further. Posted by Elizabeth A. Calandrillo, Esq.