Getting a divorce can be a complicated process under any circumstances, and it is a good idea to consult with a divorce attorney for advice before you file for a divorce. However, if you are pregnant when you file for divorce, your unborn child can make the situation more complicated, and you may want to hire an attorney to represent you and advise you throughout the entire process. Below are three issues you should be aware of regarding divorcing while pregnant.
In Many States, a Divorce Will Not Be Granted While You Are Pregnant
Most states will not grant a divorce while one of the spouses is pregnant in order to protect the parental rights of the non-pregnant spouse. In most cases, the final divorce will not be granted until your baby has been born and a custody arrangement has been reached in family court. However, this does not mean that you should not file for divorce while pregnant. An uncontested divorce can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 12 months to be finalized, and by filing for divorce while you are still pregnant, you ensure that your divorce will be granted as soon as possible after you give birth.
When you file for divorce, you will have to submit an affidavit stating that you are pregnant and that your spouse is aware of your condition. Other than that, the divorce will likely proceed similarly to other divorce cases.
If Your Spouse Is Not a Biological Parent to Your Baby, They May Sign Away Their Rights While You Are Still Pregnant
In some circumstances, a divorce may be granted while you are still pregnant. Most commonly, this occurs if your spouse is not the biological parent to the unborn child. It is likely that your spouse will have to fill out paperwork waiving their parental rights, and the biological parent will have to legally claim paternity of the child before the divorce will be granted.
You Should Consult With a Lawyer Before Moving Across State Lines
If you separate from your spouse while pregnant, you may decide that moving to another state is in your best interest. However, you should be aware that your divorce and custody cases will likely be handled in the state where you were living with your spouse. Often, custody will be awarded to the spouse who is staying in the original jurisdiction. If you plan to move, it is important to consult a lawyer about informing your spouse and the court so you are not seen as conducting a hostile act in removing the unborn child from the original jurisdiction.
For more information, check out http://www.liebmannfamilylaw.com/ and speak with a divorce attorney.