Happy New Year!
With every new year comes new expectations and a renewed sense of purpose and drive. For divorced parents, a new year can create numerous headaches and chances to make changes.
First, and foremost, I would encourage divorced parents to read this open letter which was recently published in the Asbury Park Press: APP Letter
The letter provides a refreshing, honest and poignant look at how a divorced parent needs to view their relationship with their ex and how to welcome a new paramour into the family dynamic. This is not to say that this mindest will be appropriate in every situation, but it presents a goal to strive for in bringing a new girlfriend or boyfriend into your family and accepting the new girlfriend or boyfriend of your ex. The key is focusing on what is best for the children and removing the personal emotions and animosity from consideration.
Beyond changing how one views the co-parenting relationship, now is a great time to reassess and analyze each parties' record of adhering to the terms of your settlement agreement and considering whether any modifications are warranted.
I would urge you to ask yourself these questions:
Have my or my ex's financial circumstances changed significantly enough to warrant a modification of support obligations?
Have I recalculated child support in the past few years to account for changed costs of health insurance, day care, extraneous expenses, etc. or changed income?
Have I received all reimbursements for unreimbursed medical expenses or extracurricular activities?
Have I ensured compliance with life insurance obligations and/or review of income records?
When one reviews their settlement agreement, they often realize that many things have been forgotten or overlooked as years have past. They often realize that they have not been getting a fair contribution towards their children's expenses.
There is no better time than now to review your settlement agreement and make sure that everything is being done as was agreed at the time of your divorce. If it isn't, an honest and respectful conversation can hopefully resolve the matters. If it can't, then contact a divorce attorney today to ensure that you are being treated fairly post-divorce.