Summer is finally here. The air is humid, the sunblock is out, and it's finally time for vacations and school break. But enjoying summer too much has its consequences. Our Summer Lovin' series is about those consequences for Unmarried Parents in Massachusetts:
Summer Lovin' Series #1: Unmarried Parents with a Baby on the Way!
Unmarried parents who are separated can still plan for the baby's arrival together. This planning should include how to pay for the expenses of the pregnancy and birth, and how to pay for the expenses of the child once he or she arrives. In addition, for parents who are living apart, they should begin to consider a reasonable parenting plan for when the baby arrives.
A Parenting Plan is a comprehensive agreement which sets out both the time that children will spend with each parent as well as the rights and obligations of each parent to the children and the other parent during their parenting time. It can include a holiday visitation schedule, pick-up and drop-off locations, and even agreements relating to what will happen if one of the children becomes ill.
For babies, parenting plans must take into account the need for the child to have consistent contact with both parents in order to enable bonding. In an attempt to recognize the different needs of children at a different ages, a committee of mental health practitioners, family law lawyers and Judges was formed. They wrote a very useful guide to shared parenting called Planning for Shared Parenting: A Guide for Parents Living Apart.
If Unmarried Parents need help working out the details of how to plan for the baby we recommend that they consider attending counseling or mediation together.
For more information visit our webpage devoted specifically to information for unmarried parents.