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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    101

    Default Limiting Child's Abilities

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Washington

    Not sure if this is the right thread location, but here we go.

    The other parent is declining our child's ability to do driver's ed. Of course without driver's ed our child cannot get a license until they are much older. Does one parent have the ability to not allow this? In the parenting plan both parents are responsible for education choices. But this becomes more than just the ability to drive. With a license, our child could drive themselves to and from the scheduled parents time rather than the parents. This is more of an issue, because the custodial parent has set limitations on when, and where, l can pick the child up (has to be immediately after school at 3 which is during most peoples working hours, including mine). I have agreed to supply the vehicle and insurance, making it a non cost factor.

    With all that said, can one parent be the deciding factor for driver's ed?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    178

    Default Re: Limiting Child's Abilities

    Washington State requires that the custodial parent provide authorization. If the other parent is the custodial parent, then the other parent can indeed prevent the child from obtaining a license. Your reasons for wanting the child to have a license are purely for your convenience

    https://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/getpermit.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Limiting Child's Abilities

    No, my wanting our child to have a license is so that the child can be a regular person. Yes, i would benefit from a small portion, but to think that's the only reason i want our child to be able to drive is ridiculous.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,443

    Default Re: Limiting Child's Abilities

    Quote Quoting Zigner
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    Washington State requires that the custodial parent provide authorization. If the other parent is the custodial parent, then the other parent can indeed prevent the child from obtaining a license. Your reasons for wanting the child to have a license are purely for your convenience

    https://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/getpermit.html
    Since most parents have joint legal custody these days (rather than one having sole legal custody) I would suspect that either parent could sign for the child. There is certainly nothing in the link you provided that would indicate otherwise.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    24,519

    Default Re: Limiting Child's Abilities

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Since most parents have joint legal custody these days (rather than one having sole legal custody) I would suspect that either parent could sign for the child. There is certainly nothing in the link you provided that would indicate otherwise.
    You didn't look at the parental affidavit, did you?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    8,238

    Default Re: Limiting Child's Abilities

    Quote Quoting spokanedriver
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    With all that said, can one parent be the deciding factor for driver's ed?
    You are asking the other parent to sign the kid up for driver's ed and then presumably take the time to do the supervised driving that the kid needs to get a license. So aside from the cost of the course, the vehicle, insurance, car maintenance, gas, etc (all of which you are going to pay for, right?) there is a time commitment for the other parent to do this. The other parent may indeed decline to do that unless the custody/visitation order says otherwise. There is nothing in Washington law that I see that would prevent you from having the kid go to driver's ed courses on your time. The more significant problem may be getting the license itself, since consent of the custodial parent is required by the State. Neither the state statute or Department of Licensing regulations clearly specify whether legal or physical custody is required.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    178

    Default Re: Limiting Child's Abilities

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    You are asking the other parent to sign the kid up for driver's ed and then presumably take the time to do the supervised driving that the kid needs to get a license. So aside from the cost of the course, the vehicle, insurance, car maintenance, gas, etc (all of which you are going to pay for, right?) there is a time commitment for the other parent to do this. The other parent may indeed decline to do that unless the custody/visitation order says otherwise. There is nothing in Washington law that I see that would prevent you from having the kid go to driver's ed courses on your time. The more significant problem may be getting the license itself, since consent of the custodial parent is required by the State. Neither the state statute or Department of Licensing regulations clearly specify whether legal or physical custody is required.
    The law (https://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.20.055) states that a learner's permit ("driver's instruction permit") requires the submission of a "proper application". That application requires the approval of the parent and, according to the parental affidavit (https://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/520003.pdf), that person must be the "custodial parent or legal guardian".

    Quote Quoting spokanedriver
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    No, my wanting our child to have a license is so that the child can be a regular person.
    Your child is not a regular person because they don't have a driver's license before age 18? There are literally thousands of kids who don't get their license prior to age 18...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    8,238

    Default Re: Limiting Child's Abilities

    Quote Quoting Zigner
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    The law (https://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.20.055) states that a learner's permit ("driver's instruction permit") requires the submission of a "proper application". That application requires the approval of the parent and, according to the parental affidavit (https://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/520003.pdf), that person must be the "custodial parent or legal guardian".
    Correct. But the Washington law and regulations do not specify whether "custodial parent" means a parent with legal custody or a parent with primary physical custody, and if it is legal custody whether either parent can sign the application if they have joint custody. Nor is there any case law that clarifies that either.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    178

    Default Re: Limiting Child's Abilities

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Correct. But the Washington law and regulations do not specify whether "custodial parent" means a parent with legal custody or a parent with primary physical custody, and if it is legal custody whether either parent can sign the application if they have joint custody. Nor is there any case law that clarifies that either.
    That's a fair enough point. Additionally, from a practical standpoint, how is the DMV going to know the difference in the first place? Parent signs as parent, the deed is done.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,730

    Default Re: Limiting Child's Abilities

    I'm curious if you are uncertain of your child's gender and, if you aren't, why are you referring to him/her using plural pronouns?


    Quote Quoting spokanedriver
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    The other parent is declining our child's ability to do driver's ed. Of course without driver's ed our child cannot get a license until they are much older. Does one parent have the ability to not allow this?
    I doubt it. Driver's ed can be done online. If Parent 1 signs the child up for an online driver's ed class, I don't see how, as a practical matter, Parent 2 could prevent the child from completing the class.

    Of course, merely taking a driver's ed class doesn't get a child a driver's license, so I'm not sure if you intended to ask questions about the other steps in the process.


    Quote Quoting spokanedriver
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    both parents are responsible for education choices. . . . the custodial parent has set limitations. . . .
    If "both parents are responsible for education choices," why are you referring to the other parent as "the custodial parent"?

    Quote Quoting spokanedriver
    View Post
    No, my wanting our child to have a license is so that the child can be a regular person.
    The notion that a child needs a driver's license to "be a regular person" is absurd. High school kids' attitudes about getting their licenses have changed greatly over the past few decades. When I was in high school in the 80s, driver's ed was a required class, and pretty much everyone got their licenses within a week or two after turning 16. Nowadays, high school kids are much less concerned about getting their licenses. I have an 18 1/2 yo and an almost 17 yo. Neither has a license or much interest in getting one, and my 16 yo said only a few of her peer group are licensed. Of course, if your kid wants her license, that's all that really matters.

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