Jessica and Jim Braz
Jessica and I met in high school and always had a connection, but our lives took us in separate directions. When we were about thirty years old, we each had children with other people. Jessica had a son, and I had a daughter, both born out of wedlock.
As we went through our respective custody battles, we kept in touch and eventually became a couple. We got married when our children were about seven years old, and soon after, we had our first child together.
Over the past decade, we have counseled countless friends going through similar "baby-out-of-wedlock" situations. We have learned from each other's mistakes and successes in dealing with our respective co-parents and children, and we want to help you find the easy way through this challenging situation.
For Jessica and me, those nine months during the unexpected pregnancies and the following twelve months after the births were some of the most confusing and stressful times of our lives. We had so many questions, just like you do now.
Our relationship with our partners devolved from girlfriend/boyfriend to not even being on speaking terms during the pregnancies. If marriage was a possibility at one point, by the time our children were born, that ship had sailed.
Fear, anxiety, and uncertainty drove a wedge into our relationships with our co-parents. Much of the animosity could have been avoided if both of us and our partners had better information.
After the Births
After our beautiful children were born, we stopped arguing with our co-parents for a few weeks, but only a few. We remember how hard it was to find answers to basic questions about legal custody, child support calculations, and visitation rights.
Before long, the arguing came back in force...
How are we paying for this child?
Where will we live?
When will unsupervised visitation begin?
Will we share decision making (joint legal custody)?
Or will one of us call all the shots (sole legal custody)?
Soon, we had each hired expensive lawyers and were walking down the long path of child custody litigation, which can easily take a year or more. Our co-parents felt more like our enemies at this point, and "the fight" consumed our existence.
After the Drama
It took a few years, but Jessica and I survived our battles and came out wiser on the other side, in part because we compared notes the entire time. Jessica was lucky to have only one legal battle, and since then, she has developed a good working relationship with her son's father.
I wasn't as lucky. My daughter's mother was difficult every step of the way, but I never gave up, and Jessica was there to support me. It took a total of four legal battles and a lot of money to enforce my parenting rights, and I would have done a lot differently if I knew then what I know now.
Once the drama subsided, Jessica and I realized that fate had brought us together for more reasons than one. We quickly got married, had a child together, and now live in relative harmony with all three of our kids and their co-parents.
The Easy Way
You can get to the same result - a healthy, happy co-parenting relationship. There is an easy way to get there and a hard way.
This website and our book were designed to help people find the easy way. We made many mistakes in our journeys, and we want to help you avoid them. We can teach you how to save money, stress, and heartache. The most effective way to see the benefits is to get your co-parent to learn from us too.
We hope we make a difference in your baby-out-of-wedlock journey. We welcome your feedback and would love to hear about your story. Just click contact us below.