Houston Attorney for a Divorce While Pregnant
When a married couple is expecting, it can put stress on the relationship. Many may see the pregnancy as a catalyst that pushes them to file for divorce – especially if the husband is not the child’s father. Regardless of your situation, divorcing in Texas while one of the spouses is pregnant can be complicated and often requires delaying the divorce until the baby is born.
For help filing for divorce while pregnant, contact the Houston attorneys for divorce while pregnant at The Queenan Law Firm. Our attorneys represent husbands and wives in divorce cases, working to file for divorce and represent them through the divorce proceedings, child support battles, and other related hearings. For help with your divorce while pregnant, contact our law offices today to schedule a confidential legal consultation. Our number is (817) 476-1797.
Getting Divorced While Pregnant in Texas
In any divorce case involving children, the courts in Texas will usually ensure that there is a child custody and child support order in place before they allow the divorce to be finalized. If the child is not born yet, the court cannot set a child custody or support order in place. This means that, while you may be able to file for divorce while you are pregnant, you probably have to wait until the baby is born before the divorce can be finalized.
In Texas, there is a 60-day waiting period between filing and divorce. Other states have longer waiting periods, meaning that between the time you file for divorce and finish the waiting period, it is likely your child will be born. Since Texas has a 60-day waiting period, it is likely that trying to get divorced while pregnant will postpone your case significantly beyond the waiting period, depending how far along you are in your pregnancy.
Despite your inability to finalize your divorce and complete your case, you can still begin the process as soon as you want. No one can force you to stay living with your spouse, especially if you feel unsafe or need to get away from them. You can begin living separately and file for divorce as soon as you want, even if you are pregnant.
Grounds for Divorcing While Pregnant in Texas
Whenever you seek a divorce, you must establish the “grounds” on which you are seeking a divorce. In Texas, there are 7 options for divorce grounds:
- Insupportability – If you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences and cannot get along, you can file under these no-fault divorce grounds.
- Cruelty – If your spouse was “cruel” or abusive, you can file for fault-based divorce.
- Adultery – If your spouse cheated on you – or if you cheated on them – the injured spouse can file for divorce.
- Conviction of a Felony – If one spouse is put in prison for at least one year, the other spouse can file for divorce.
- Abandonment – If one spouse left for at least one year without the intention of returning, the other can file for divorce.
- Living Apart – If the spouses live separately for 3 years, they can file for divorce.
- Confinement in a Mental Hospital – If the spouse has been in a mental hospital for at least 3 years and is unlikely to recover, you can get divorced.
Some of these grounds are unlikely to occur in a divorce involving pregnancy unless the baby’s father is someone other than the spouse. Others are much more common, such as the no-fault “insupportability” divorce. Your attorney can help you choose the right grounds for divorce in your case.
Paternity in Divorce During Pregnancy Cases
If you are seeking a divorce while you or your spouse is pregnant, it may be because the pregnancy added unwanted stress to the relationship or because one or both of you are not prepared to be parents. In this case, the law helps you establish paternity or parentage and may make establishing custody and finalizing the divorce simpler. If the baby is someone else’s, the case may be more complex.
Texas Family Code § 160.204 presumes that a man is the father of any baby that his wife gives birth to during the marriage or within 300 days (10 months) after the marriage ends. If he is indeed the father, it is often simple to use this presumption to establish paternity. This law does use the terms “man” and “father,” but lesbian couples may also be able to use this law to presume parentage under the 2017 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Pavan v. Smith. However, you should still speak with an attorney to help guarantee your parental rights.
If the mother’s spouse is not the father, then you may need to use an “acknowledgement of paternity” form along with the biological father to establish his paternity and support his claim for child custody.
Since the court needs to establish child custody and child support rulings before the divorce is finalized, the court needs to know who the father is. If the court cannot establish parentage, the court cannot rule on child custody, and the divorce case cannot be finalized until these legal issues are worked out. Talk to an attorney for guidance in complex situations or if you need help establishing your parentage during a divorce.
Call Our Houston Divorce During Pregnancy Attorneys for a Confidential Legal Consultation
If you are seeking a divorce while pregnant or while your spouse is pregnant, talk to an attorney today. The Houston attorneys for divorce while pregnant can help establish paternity, work out child custody orders, and help you get your divorce finalized. In the meantime, call our law offices to schedule a legal consultation and learn more about filing for divorce while pregnant in Texas. To schedule your confidential consultation, call The Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797.