If you are pregnant and are also facing a divorce, it can be difficult to imagine a more stressful situation. In Texas, you generally cannot divorce the father of your unborn child until the child is born. In other words, a pregnancy can complicate and lengthen the Texas divorce process. If you are pregnant and remain convinced that divorce is your best option, consulting with an experienced Central Texas family law attorney now can help the divorce process go more smoothly once your child is born.
Even if you and your divorcing spouse are in complete accord regarding every element of your divorce, including the division of marital property and child custody arrangements, the court will not grant you a divorce before the child's birth. Further, the State of Texas requires a waiting period of 60 days from the date of filing before a divorce can be finalized. While you can begin the divorce process before you give birth, you will have to wait until after you have welcomed your child into the world before you can finalize the matter. It is difficult to reconcile the happy anticipation and physical exhaustion of pregnancy with the stress and anxiety of divorce, but that is the reality in Texas.
The Court’s Presumption
The court presumes that the unborn child is your spouse's child, but if you or your spouse disputes this presumption, the question of paternity must wait until your baby is born. Further, the court declines to address the issue of child support before a child's birth. Finally, it is difficult to predict exactly what a child’s needs will be before his or her birth. For example, if you need to take an extended leave from work, you may need to request temporary spousal maintenance to help you through the leave. The court takes the stance that it cannot protect the child’s best interest until the child is born and his or her best interests can be assessed.
If you are pregnant and know that you are facing a divorce, it is time to consult with a skilled Central Texas family law attorney. While you cannot finalize your divorce before your child is born, you can begin the process and work through as much of it as possible before the happy event. (Read more about what happens after your divorce finalization) As thrilling as a new baby is, it is very likely that you will also be exhausted and overwhelmed. Filing now can help give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are moving forward as efficiently and effectively as possible.
If You Are Pregnant and Facing a Divorce, an Experienced Central Texas Family Law Attorney Can Help
Combining pregnancy with divorce complicates two life events that are already fraught with emotion and stress. The dedicated legal professionals at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to help you throughout this complicated process. Our skilled family law attorneys are here to help, so please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.