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 Tessina, Ph.D., has been a licensed California psychotherapist for more than 30 years. She's authored more than 11 books, including "Money, Sex and Kids." She can be reached at email@example.com.