Pregnancy and Divorce: Can the two mix in Texas?

Anyone who has gone through a pregnancy, whether you are a mother or father, can understand the difficulties and stresses associated with the nine month wait for a baby to be delivered. Mothers understand the physical pain that goes along with the entire process and it goes without saying that actually delivering the baby is perhaps the most strenuous and trying time in a woman’s life.

This is the case even if all is right in the mother’s world as far as her relationship with the baby’s father. What happens, though, if divorce is on the horizon for a pregnant woman? If you find yourself in a position where you are considering filing for divorce while pregnant then this blog is for you. In it we will discuss some details to consider as well as potential problems you may encounter while filing for divorce while pregnant.

Baby First, Divorce Second in Texas

The short answer is that divorce and pregnancy do not mix in Texas. This is the case even if you and your spouse have come to an agreement on all issues. Unfortunately the likely outcome of filing for divorce is that you and your spouse will need to wait until your child is born in order to be granted the divorce. If all you see are roadblocks and delay then you are right on the money.

The State of Texas already has a sixty day waiting period after the divorce is filed for until the divorce can be finalized. If you are five months pregnant then the divorce can, at the earliest, be finalized in four months. Your court will acquire jurisdiction over the child once it is born and can issue orders related to conservatorship, access, possession and support.

First - Hard to Resolve Child Issues When Child Isn't Here Yet

The reason that you and your spouse will need to wait to finalize your divorce until the child is born is for issues like paternity and child support to be sorted out. The problem is that courts cannot order child support payments in anticipation of a child being born. A live baby must be in existence for this to occur.

Second - Presumption of Paternity

Secondly, there is a presumption that the child is your spouse’s but if paternity needs to be disputed then too the divorce will have to wait until the birth of the child occurs.

Finally

Finally, suppose that you need to request spousal maintenance on at least a temporary basis and would cite the need to be at home and raise the infant as a primary reason for that request. Obviously then you would need to first give birth to the child for you to be able to make this argument.

Paternity of the child in question- How does a court handle this situation?

Suppose that the man that you are married to is not the biological father of your unborn baby. We’ve already discussed the presumption that the State of Texas has on the books as law- that your husband is presumed to be the father of your child.

You will need to counter this presumption by having genetic testing conducted on your spouse and your child but this understandably cannot occur until after your baby is born. A key part to this equation is that your husband must agree to be paternity tested. If he refuses then your assertion that he is not the biological father of your child goes out the window.

Your husband can also file a document called a Denial of Paternity and for the biological father to accept paternity by filing an Acknowledgment of Paternity. The Texas Family Code in section 160.305 spells out clearly that by doing each of these things your husband will no longer be presumed to be the father of your child and has no rights or duties under state law as to that child.

How best to proceed if you are pregnant and want a divorce in Texas

You may be in a similar position as a woman who came in to talk to me about a divorce a few weeks ago. She was six months pregnant and eagerly anticipating the birth of her child. However, she and her husband had been going through a rough time prior to the pregnancy and she now believed that a divorce was inevitable and in the best interest of herself and her child.

She came in to the Law Office of Bryan Fagan to see if it was possible for her to get a divorce while pregnant or if she was better off waiting to file the divorce until the child was born.

While I was not able to tell her that a divorce could be achieved while she was pregnant, I could tell her that it makes sense to begin the process of divorcing while pregnant. This way you already have the ball rolling and do not have to set yourself further behind “schedule” by waiting to file.

An extra month or two can help you and your spouse by providing extra time with which to negotiate any outstanding issues that are impeding your ability to settle this divorce. As we discussed at the outset of this blog post, starting a divorce is one of the more difficult tasks that I can imagine undertaking. Doing so with a newborn baby at home brings the degree of difficulty to off-the-charts levels. Planning ahead is the way to go in this regard.

Questions about pregnancy and divorce in Texas? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today

Having questions about the subjects of pregnancy and divorce can cause you to feel overwhelmed and lead you to wonder where to start first. In my opinion the first place for you to start your journey towards greater knowledge and understanding of these issues is to speak to family law attorneys in your area.

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan represents clients across southeast Texas and would be honored to speak to you about your family law issues. A free of charge consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys is only a phone call away.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Divorce when you are pregnant- but the child is not your husband's
  2. Husband Not the Father, what do I do in a Texas Divorce?
  3. I am not the biological father but I want to be - Paternity by Estoppel?
  4. My Spouse Has Accused Me of Adultery in my Texas Divorce and I Haven't
  5. When is, Cheating Considered Adultery in a Texas Divorce?
  6. Sex, Lies, Rock-and-roll, and Adultery in a Texas Divorce
  7. Can I Sue My Spouse for Mental Abuse in My Texas Divorce?
  8. 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
  9. Texas Divorce Morality Clause: Be Careful What You Ask For
  10. What does Insupportability or No-Fault in a Texas Divorce Mean?
  11. Explaining the Contested Divorce Process in Texas

Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Attorneys

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with ar Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

A divorce lawyer in Spring TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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