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I meet a man online. We only dated for two weeks, but during that time, I got pregnant. When I learned about the pregnancy, I wanted to get back together with him. He said the relationship wouldn’t work and told me to get an abortion. Well, I decided to keep the child. I’m 30 with a good job. He is 27 and in medical school, never having held a real job. He is not happy I plan to have the child and wants nothing to do with either of us. Part of me does not want to take him to child-support court because I want him to know his child, and I know he’ll refuse forever if I make him pay support. He wants me to leave him alone so he can focus on school. Should I take him to court for child support even though he doesn’t have a job?
This one is going to take a little time. So take a deep breath before you continue reading.
First, if a man doesn’t want to involve himself in a child’s life, you have nothing to gain by forcing him. Men who don’t want to be fathers rarely make good ones. Your ex-boyfriend’s opinion may change in time. At that point, you should encourage him to spend some time with the child. But until he wants to act like a father, you do yourself and your child a disservice by pushing the issue.
Second, even if the man doesn’t want to play the part of a father, he is a father. He bears legal, moral, and financial responsibility for that child. And while he can choose not to get involved in the kid’s life, his financial obligations are not a matter of choice. He may not have a job now, but at some point he will. You should establish the man’s legal status immediately. You may be entitled to at least a small amount now. And once you have a custody arrangement in place, you will have less trouble adjusting it to reflect his greater earning potential in the future.
Third, you should hire your own lawyer to start the process. It will cost some money, but when you consider the expenses you’ll need to raise a child over the next, say, 20 years, a lawyer’s bill looks like a small price to pay. Find an attorney with experience in negotiating child-support agreements and let him serve as an advocate for your interests.
Fourth, you should stop focusing on the man, and instead make the child’s welfare your chief priority. Start adapting your home to accommodate the baby and making plans on how to handle child care while still working. It’s time to start planning. And if the man who fathered the child elects not to be involved, the loss is his.
I’m going to get my first savings account. Should I join it with my parents or just do it by myself? I’m 19 years old and going to college. I don’t work a job, and my parents said as long as I get good grades, they’ll pay for everything I need. Mom thinks it’s about time for me to get a savings account. Should I get a joint account?
It sounds like your mother wants you to spread your wings a bit. You’re 19, and legally an adult. I agree with your mother that it’s about time you opened up a savings account. The operative word is “you.” Open up your own account under your own name. Start setting aside a few bucks whenever you can, then don’t spend that money. Learning to save rather than spend is the first step toward developing the adult skill of money management.
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