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Starting single parenthood off on the right foot

If you and your child's other parent are no longer planning to raise your child together, it is generally important to speak with an attorney so that you can begin your life as a single parent on firm ground. If you and your child's other parent are married and are currently divorcing, you likely already have retained the services of an attorney or plan to do so soon. But even if you and your child's other parent are not married, it is generally important to speak with an attorney as the legal rights and responsibilities afforded to single parents can be complex and confusing. In order to better protect your own interests and your child's interests, it is important to seek legal guidance.

If you and your child's other parent will be co-parenting, you will need to figure out how you plan to divide parental responsibilities. If you fundamentally disagree about the division of these responsibilities, you may need to litigate or mediate a child custody arrangement. If you do not disagree on too many points of interests, you and your attorneys may be able to negotiate a parenting plan that works for you and your child.

When seeking out an attorney's guidance, only hire an attorney who seems to be a good fit for you. If the attorney seems far too aggressive or passive for your tastes, keep interviewing attorneys until you find one who you believe will properly advocate for both your interests and your child's best interests. In addition, keep your child's best interests at the forefront of your mind, as child custody and parenting arrangements are constructed according to a "best interests of the child" standard by family law courts nationwide.

Source: Yahoo Parenting, "How to Be a Good Divorced Dad," Calvin Hennick, Jan. 23, 2015

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