It’s no secret that divorce is a complicated process. Even if both spouses agree to the divorce and approach the situation in a cooperative and relatively amicable manner, there are still countless elements that can complicate the process. Pregnancy provides a perfect example of something that can significantly complicate or hinder the divorce process. This week, our family attorneys in Camden County MO are here to tackle this particularly challenging aspect of divorce.
You Cannot Get Divorced While Pregnant
TRUE or FALSE?
The lines around this topic are often blurred, and many people do not have a clear understanding of how pregnancy and divorce interrelate. This is probably because the answer to the above question is not completely “true” and not completely “false.”
A divorce cannot be legally finalized in Missouri if the wife is pregnant. However, the spouses can still file for divorce and begin handling many of the various aspects that must be addressed, such as the division of assets and debts and the custody agreement for any existing children. However, the divorce cannot be finalized until after the baby is born because the court has to wait until the new baby arrives before they can finalize child custody / child support orders for the infant.
When a married woman gets pregnant, her husband is legally assumed to be the father. If her husband has reason to believe he may not be the true father and wishes to contest it, a paternity test can be ordered. Paternity tests are not considered to be truly effective until after the baby is born, which is why most divorce courts wait until after the baby is out to finalize the divorce. This will give them time to prove who the father is and make the proper arrangements based on that information.
Child-Rearing Responsibilities After Divorce
If the husband is found to not be the father of the child, he will not be obligated to pay child support under Missouri law. (However, he may still be required to provide financial support in the form of alimony or spousal support.) If he is not the father, he will also not have any right to custody over the child as long as the divorce is finalized immediately after the birth.
If the husband is proven to be the father, he will legally be allowed to fight for custody of the child if he wishes. Depending on how the custody agreements are ordered, he may also be required to pay child support. As with all custody arrangements, the court will award custody of the infant based on the baby’s best interests.
Your Family Law Experts In Mid-Missouri
If you considering filing for divorce in Missouri, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our family attorneys in Laclede County, Miller County, Pulaski County, and Camden County. The best course of action is to avoid getting pregnant altogether, even if you are only considering divorce as a distant possibility. Life can be unpredictable, however, and even the best-laid plans often go awry. If pregnancy will be a factor within your divorce, it is even more essential that you seek the counsel of an experienced divorce lawyer in Lebanon MO. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation today.
Contact Deputy & Mizell, LLC