Arlington Attorney for a Divorce While Pregnant
Getting divorced while pregnant in Texas can complicate your divorce proceedings. Any time that there are children involved in a divorce, the court needs to establish child custody and child support orders before they will finalize the divorce. Because you cannot have a child custody order for a child that has not been born yet, this usually means you must delay finalizing your divorce – but you can still start filing your case now.
If you need help filing for divorce while pregnant or your pregnant spouse has filed for divorce against you, talk to the Arlington attorneys for divorce while pregnant at The Queenan Law Firm today. Our attorneys offer free legal consultations to help you with your case. Call (805) 585-5056 today to schedule your free consultation.
Problems with Divorcing While Pregnant in Texas
If you are pregnant and want to get divorced, you may be able to file for divorce. However, you may need to wait until the baby comes before you can have the divorce finalized.
There are dozens of reasons why someone might want to get divorced while pregnant. If your spouse has become abusive and you fear for your unborn baby’s safety, you should get out of the house and start filing for divorce and a protective order immediately. If the pregnancy has strained your marriage or your spouse cheated on you while you were pregnant, there are also grounds for divorce that cover these issues. In any case, you can also file for divorce based on “insupportability,” Texas’ “no-fault” divorce grounds for “irreconcilable differences.”
When you want to get divorced, the court will need to set child custody and support orders before they will allow the divorce to be finalized. If the baby is not born yet, they cannot set custody or support, so the court will need to postpone your case. Typically, divorce cases must follow a 60-day waiting period. For some types of divorce, such as divorce brought on by abandonment or living apart, there is a longer time period before the divorce can be filed, plus the 60-day waiting period. If your baby will arrive after the 60-day waiting period, you may need to wait much longer.
Along with the child custody and child support elements of the case, you may also need to file for alimony and have an attorney help with the asset division in your case. If you are going to be a new mother, you may need additional funds and assets to support you and pay for doctor’s appointments while you are caring for a newborn.
Paternity in Divorce Cases Involving Pregnancy
When a divorce occurs during pregnancy, one of the court’s major questions will be the parentage of the child. The court needs to know who the parents are before it can establish child custody and support and finalize the divorce, meaning that establishing paternity will be a necessary step in your divorce case.
If the mother’s spouse is the parent, things can proceed smoothly. Texas law presumes that a mother’s husband is the father and allows that man to be listed as the child’s father on the birth certificate. This presumption even extends up to 300 days after the marriage ends, whether through divorce, death, or another reason.
This presumption does not explicitly extend to lesbian couples, but they may be able to take advantage of the same law. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017 ruling in Pavan v. Smith seems to indicate a willingness to extend the gender-specific language in these kinds of statutes (such as “man” and “husband”) to also cover gay couples. However, you should talk to an attorney to ensure your parental rights are protected.
If the spouse is not the father, the mother and the biological father may need to take additional steps to ensure the proper man is given child custody rights. An “acknowledgement of paternity” form can be filled out to appoint the proper father on the birth certificate. If there are additional questions about paternity, genetic testing may be used to establish parentage and get the proper father included in custody and support orders.
Filing for Divorce While Pregnant
Although you cannot finalize your divorce until the baby is born, you may still file for divorce. If you file for divorce, you and your spouse can begin living apart and financially independent. This can be an important step toward divorce in many cases and makes ultimately finalizing the divorce and dividing assets simpler.
You and your spouse may be able to draw up a separation agreement and begin dividing your assets and finances. You may also be able to seek alimony pendente lite while the divorce is pending. This can help pay for day-to-day expenses and the cost of an attorney while you wait for the divorce to be finalized. This can be vital if you rely on your spouse for financial support but want to begin the divorce process now or if you are the victim of domestic violence and want to get out of the house immediately.
Arlington, TX Divorce Attorney for Divorces During Pregnancy
If you are seeking a divorce while you or your spouse is pregnant, talk to an attorney about your case. You may be unable to finalize the divorce before the baby is born, but you can still begin the process of filing for divorce and seeking separation. For a free legal consultation on your case, call the Arlington divorce while pregnant lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm. Our number is (817) 774-9627.