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  1. #1

    Default Which Divorced Parent is Liable for a Teen Driver's Accident

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Virginia

    Background: My ex and I have joint legal custody of our almost-17 year old son. My ex has him during the week and I get him every other weekend along with additional time in the summer, Spring Break, Christmas, etc. Even though our divorce mediation agreement states that we agree to consult for "major decisions" regarding my son, my ex has always just done whatever she thought was best when she could. She did not consult me went my son got both his learners permit and most recently his drivers license. My insurance agent says that since my son lives principally with my ex, that he needs to be insured by her. Also, my son never wants to go anywhere and my ex is always trying to come up with excuses why my son should go back to her place

    So, I went to pick up my son today and my ex informed me that my son was just going to drive her car over to my place instead of riding with me. Mind you that I haven't seen my son's drivers license nor proof of his auto insurance. She said he'd be able to do some back to school shopping and practice driving alone. I declined the offer for now since she just sprung it on me with no advanced notice.

    Question: If my son is driving my ex's car during my physical custody time and he gets in an accident causing significant damage, which parent is liable for any damage he may cause? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    37,183

    Default Re: Which Divorced Parent is Liable for Teen Driver

    You would each have to list him as a driver on your own policies if you want him covered while driving your own cars

    you will both both likely be liable because the mother provided the car and you are allowing the child to drive

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,664

    Default Re: Which Divorced Parent is Liable for Teen Driver

    Her car then her insurance. Your car then your insurance. His car (owned by him) then he needs his own insurance. Not both. The insurance is attached to the vehicle not the parent.

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    Yu would each have to list him as a driver on your own policies if you want him covered while driving your own cars


    you will both both likely be liable because the mother provided the car and you are allowing the child to drive
    The son is a licensed driver. How is OP liable because he allows the son to drive?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    37,183

    Default Re: Which Divorced Parent is Liable for Teen Driver

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    The son is a licensed driver. How is OP liable because he allows the son to drive?
    I got some bad advice. If the kid was under 16. Virginia code 8.01-64 wod have applied. Rather than checking the actual code I depended on the website I was on and listed an older age.

    There is a parental liability law that may apply though depending on the circumstances. If the actions resulting in damage are willful or malicious (not usually applicable in a car accident but there are few situstions that may fit) the parents are held equally liable for the damage up to $2500 vC 8.01-44

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Which Divorced Parent is Liable for a Teen Driver's Accident

    A parent is generally not liable for a minor's auto accident. If you allow your child to drive your car, you should be sure he's covered by your policy. What you allow him to do with respect to his mother's car is up to you and her.

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