How Will Florida’s New Co-Parenting Rules Affect Your Finances?
When people complain about the financial hardships of co-parenting after divorce, it all sounds like high class worries to you. If you are divorced, it follows that there was once a time when you or your parents could afford to pay for a wedding. In a divorce, the court also guarantees that each spouse gets a share of the marital property. The worst financial hardships belong to parents who have never been married. You still have the right to spend time with your children and the obligation to contribute to their financial support, but parents who have never been married tend to be younger and have fewer financial resources than those who were married to each other when their children were born. A recently enacted law in Florida makes it easier for single fathers to exercise certain parental rights, but raising children remains a major financial challenge. For advice on getting out of debt while managing the responsibilities of co-parenting, contact a Jupiter debt lawyer.
Confronting the Financial Realities of 50/50 Parenting Time
One provision of the new law says that courts should assume that it is in children’s best interest to divide their time equally between their parents. This means that, when the court must set a parenting plan, it will aim to divide the parenting time as close to 50/50 as it determines is practical given the parents’ work schedules, the children’s school schedules, and the availability of childcare. The new rule probably will not affect you, though. Most families, whether or not the parents were once married to each other, set their parenting plans by mutual agreement during court-ordered mediation. Having more parenting time is not necessarily less expensive than paying child support for the more than 50 percent of the time when the children are with your ex. Even if your ex has a history of making your life difficult on purpose, you can probably agree on what is the most affordable way to divide your parenting time. If extended family members provide childcare, then the parent whose mother or sister is nearby to babysit the children multiple times per week will probably have the majority of the parenting time.
New Law Makes It Less Expensive for Single Dads to Exercise Their Parenting Time
The changes to the law that will come as a relief to men who are co-parenting with their ex-girlfriends is that the law no longer treats unmarried fathers as absentee fathers. As with the old law, if you are not married to your child’s mother when the child is born, you can establish yourself as the child’s legal father by filing a voluntary declaration of paternity. Under the new law, once you file the voluntary declaration of paternity, you are automatically entitled to a parenting plan, which legally guarantees you time with your children.
Work With a Debt Lawyer About Parenting on a Tight Budget
A South Florida debt lawyer can help you manage your debts so that the court and your ex cannot stand in the way of your relationship with your children. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Miami, Florida to discuss your case.