It’s not the first thing everyone thinks of, but the existence of an out-of-wedlock child will have a big economic impact, and the financial responsibility will grow with the child.
1. Unless you can settle with the child’s other parent out of court, court costs can be very expensive.
However, they may be necessary to work out a child support and/or custody arrangement that is enforceable. For this, you’ll need a good family attorney. Even if you are able to work out an agreement without going to court, be sure to have it legally written up, notarized and recorded to prevent future problems.
2. Once you have an idea of what the legal costs and child support will be, you’ll need to rework your budget.
You may want to do this in therapy, because trimming the budget can activate a new round of blaming and anger. This is a great time to get full disclosure of all financial accounts, debts, and arrangements.
3. Don’t forget to consider medical and life insurance in your costs.
It’s best if you can put all costs, clothing, food, insurance, school fees, etc. into the legal custody and support agreement. An expert lawyer or accountant can help you estimate these costs accurately.
Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.
Dr. Tessina, is CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for LoveForever.com, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC News.