Anyone who has gone through a pregnancy, whether 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 accompanies the entire process and having 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 regarding 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 considering filing for divorce while pregnant, then this blog is for you. In it, we will discuss some details to consider and 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. Even if you and your spouse have agreed on all issues, this is the case. Unfortunately, the likely outcome of filing for divorce is that you and your spouse will need to wait until your child is born to be granted the divorce. If all you see are roadblocks and delays, you are right on the money.
The State of Texas already has a sixty-day waiting period after the divorce is filed until the divorce can be finalized. If you are five months pregnant, then the divorce can, at the earliest, be completed in four months. Your court will acquire jurisdiction over the child once born and issue orders related to conservatorship, access, possession, and support.
First - Hard to Resolve Child Issues When Child Isn't Here Yet
You and your spouse will need to wait to finalize your divorce until the child is born for issues like paternity and child support to be sorted out. The problem is that courts cannot order child support payments in anticipation of 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 the divorce will have to wait until the child's birth occurs.
Finally, suppose that you need to request spousal maintenance temporarily and cite the need to be at home and raise the infant as a primary reason for that request. You would need first to give birth to the child to make this argument.
Paternity of the child in question- How does a court handle this situation?
Suppose that the man 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 pivotal part of 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 Denial of Paternity document 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 before the pregnancy, and she now believed that a divorce was inevitable and in the best interest of herself and her child.
She came into the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, to see if she could get a divorce while pregnant or if she was better off waiting to file the divorce until the child was born.
While I could not tell her that a divorce could be achieved while she was pregnant, I could say to 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 additional time to negotiate any outstanding issues that impede 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 I can imagine undertaking. Doing so with a newborn baby at home brings the degree of difficulty to off-the-charts levels. Planning is the way to go in this regard.
Questions about pregnancy and divorce in Texas? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, 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 begin your journey towards more excellent knowledge and understanding of these issues is to speak to family law attorneys in your area.
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, 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:
- Divorce when you are pregnant- but the child is not your husband's
- Husband Not the Father, what do I do in a Texas Divorce?
- I am not the biological father, but I want to be - Paternity by Estoppel?
- My Spouse Has Accused Me of Adultery in my Texas Divorce, and I Haven't
- When is Cheating Considered Adultery in a Texas Divorce?
- Sex, Lies, Rock-and-roll, and Adultery in a Texas Divorce
- Can I Sue My Spouse for Mental Abuse in My Texas Divorce?
- Six things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
- Texas Divorce Morality Clause: Be Careful What You Ask For
- What does Insupportability or No-Fault in a Texas Divorce Mean?
- Explaining the Contested Divorce Process in Texas
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Attorneys
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's essential 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 the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, 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.