It’s unfortunate, but sometimes divorce and pregnancy go hand in hand. In some cases, soon-to-be mothers may find themselves splitting from their partners during their pregnancy. Like other strenuous predicaments, pregnancy can cause tension in even the strongest relationships. Whether the expecting parents are stressed about finances, the child’s paternity is being inquired or some of the other emotions and rollercoaster rides that come along with pregnancy, divorce may be on the table. Here are some ways to better navigate divorce amid a pregnancy according to a family lawyer from our friends at the Brandy Austin Law Firm.
Can I File For Divorce While Pregnant?
In some states, you can file for divorce while pregnant but the divorce will not be finalized until after the baby is born. The reason for this is that the courts cannot have jurisdiction over the child until after the baby is born; therefore, the court cannot decide on child custody, child support, and paternity until after the baby is born.
Should I Hire A Lawyer?
You do not have to hire a lawyer, but like all court matters involving children, it is strongly recommended. Both parties should hire legal counselors that specialize in family law and divorce, this is crucial to determine the best course of action for the unborn child in decisions about custody and child support and reach agreements on all matters that concern the child. In the long term, attorneys will help ensure that your child’s life will be set up for the future and in the best interest of the child. In the short term, hiring a lawyer during this time will also help the divorce proceedings run smoothly, and alleviate some stress off of the expecting parents during the already difficult situation.
Discuss A Co-Parenting Plan
It can be difficult to want to discuss matters with a partner that you are splitting from, but it is important to prioritize the plans for the unborn child to better prepare both parents for the baby’s arrival. This means, discussing a co-parenting plan. Both parents should be involved in a child’s upbringing, it is important to establish boundaries early on for the benefit of the child and that fits the needs of both parties.
Things to consider
Coming to the realization that your marriage is coming to an end is devastating as is, but even more so when you are going through pregnancy. Having a baby can be a stressful time, and can test even the most experienced relationships. A baby’s birth implements a huge lifestyle change and can lead to uncomfortable role changes and financial struggles, tension may build and arguments become more frequent but divorce should not be a decision that is taken lightly. Here are some things to consider before proceeding with a divorce while pregnant.
1.) Try not to make life-altering decisions while you are overwhelmed
Divorce is a big decision, and should not be decided on a whim. It is normal for relationships to be strained during life-changing situations such as bringing new life to Earth, you may want to look into other options before deciding on divorce; such as
therapy or temporary separation. If you are the spouse that is pregnant your hormones are consistently shifting and this has a heavy impact on your emotions, for the other spouse, it is important to adjust to your partner’s emotional shifts. This responsibility from both parties can put a heavy strain on a relationship. That is why the decision of divorce should not be taken lightly, and should not be decided while being conflicted by the influence of possible temporary emotions and hormones.
2.) Going through pregnancy alone can be very trying
When people say ‘it takes a village’ they really mean it. Even before the baby comes, lacking support during your pregnancy can be very difficult. Having someone there in the home such as your partner to support you can have a myriad of benefits for you and the baby.
3.) Are you prepared for the financial stresses that come with divorce?
Attorney’s fees, child support, and alimony can all be things that can filter into the expenses of divorce. This is why it may be important to meet with a financial advisor and an attorney to calculate how much the divorce will cost you. That way you are better prepared if divorce is what you want to proceed with.
If you have exhausted your options and are thinking about divorce with a child on the way, speak with a family law attorney about your rights and your circumstance. A well-seasoned family law attorney will help you configure a decision that is in the best interest of your child, you, and your spouse so that an already difficult situation can be completed as smoothly and seamlessly once your baby is born.