Divorce During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a stressful time for both the mother and the father if the couple is unhappy and decides to end the marriage, the stress will be multiplied when divorce during pregnancy is not even possible.

Some states prohibit divorce during pregnancy, and some do not. In California if one of the parties is pregnant, the divorce may be filed, but can’t be finalized until the baby is born.  Divorce laws attempt to establish paternity or parentage for all children and therefore favor a child being born during the marriage whenever possible.  The reason to delay divorce is to avoid having to go back and re-do most of the divorce agreement to account for new custody arrangements, child support payments and issues regarding paternity.

You may seek for alternatives to divorce while pregnant if a person’s state does not allow divorce during pregnancy or the spouses agree that they want to wait in order to avoid the additional expense of amending their divorce decree, there are some alternative options that they might want to explore.

One option might be moving into separate residences. A couple can begin laying the groundwork for a future divorce by seeking a physical and legal separation. California has a mandatory six-month waiting period before a divorce can be finalized. This is one mechanism to assure that all the children in the marriage are addressed in the divorce. In many cases the child will be born during the waiting period if the wife is pregnant at the time of filing.

Another approach may be filing for divorce but waiting until after the birth to finalize it. In many cases, it can take several months to finalize a divorce agreement. Depending on the couple’s circumstances, it may be advantageous to begin the process during the pregnancy and resolve it after the baby is born.  To ease your stress and simplify the complication, please consult to our family law attorney Joanne Zhou at the Zhou Law Group for a better solution.