Most divorce cases involve a variety of complex issues, but there are some situations that may leave spouses wondering about their rights and how they can protect themselves going forward. One concern that some divorcing couples may face is determining how to proceed when they are expecting a child. Emotional and psychological issues notwithstanding, there are many challenges that may arise when getting a divorce while a spouse is pregnant.
Legal Issues Involved When Divorcing While Pregnant
A spouse’s pregnancy can greatly complicate the divorce process. Some of the issues that may need to be addressed in these cases include:
No Simplified Divorce—Although some married couples can get a simplified divorce, this option is not available if the spouses have children together or are expecting a child. This means the divorce proceedings will be more involved, and they may take longer to resolve.
Delays—A variety of issues could slow down the divorce process in cases involving pregnancy. For example, the judge may order you and your spouse to wait to finalize your divorce until your child is born to ensure that you will have a better understanding of the requirements for parenting time, allocation of parental responsibilities, and child support. You may also wish to receive a legal separation before continuing with your divorce in order to allow more time for the child’s birth.
Paternity—When a child is born to a mother who is married, her husband is presumed to be the child’s legal father. However, if the identity of the child’s biological father is in doubt, the spouses may need to take steps to verify paternity through DNA testing or by having the biological father voluntarily acknowledge paternity. Establishing legal paternity for the child will provide the biological parents with parental rights and allow the child to receive child support from both parents.
Greater Likelihood of Divorce Modifications and Child Custody Modifications—One of the benefits of divorce is that it provides a couple with closure by definitively ending their marriage. However, a pregnancy could result in legal issues that may need to be addressed after the divorce has been finalized. For example, once the child is born, the parents might need to update the terms of their divorce decree to address child custody, child support, or other issues.
Contact a DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer
Divorce and childbirth are major life events, and attempting to address them both at the same time can seem overwhelming. However, ending a marriage that has broken down can ensure that your child grows up in a conflict-free environment. If you are planning to dissolve your marriage, and you need to address issues related to pregnancy or children, reach out to aWheaton divorce attorney at 630-871-1002 to discuss your options. The knowledgeable professionals at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will help you understand your options and guide you through the divorce process.