Can You Get Divorced While Pregnant in California?
Yes, you can initiate the divorce process, even if you or your spouse are pregnant. However, the court will not finalize the divorce until after the child's birth. This delay is primarily due to issues surrounding paternity and potential confusion that could arise.
Establishing paternity is crucial because it affects issues like child support, custody, and visitation rights. In California, if a child is born to a married couple, the law automatically assumes the husband to be the child's legal father.
However, in a divorce scenario, the husband may contest this assumption, particularly if there's a possibility that he's not the biological father because of infidelity. If the divorce is finalized before the child's birth, determining legal paternity can become complicated. Thus, the court prefers to wait until after the child's birth to finalize the divorce proceedings.
Navigating the Process
Navigating the divorce process while pregnant can be emotionally challenging. It's essential to have a support system in place, both emotionally and legally.
It may be beneficial to engage a seasoned family law attorney to help you navigate the intricacies of the legal process. They can assist in ensuring you fully comprehend your rights and possible courses of action, as well as aid in the creation of a parenting agreement. This agreement delineates each parent's obligations, encompassing aspects like child support, custody, and visitation rights.
Common issues that arise when navigating a divorce during pregnancy include disputes over prenatal medical costs, potential child custody and support, and emotional stress. A well-drafted marital settlement agreement can address these issues. It's recommended to seek professional help to ensure all bases are covered.
Disagreements and concerns about healthcare coverage can also arise. When a divorce occurs, the legal status of the couple changes, which can consequently impact their healthcare coverage. For instance, if you're covered under your spouse's healthcare plan, the divorce could mean that you'll lose this coverage.
For the child, things can be a bit more complex. The child's healthcare coverage will depend on the terms of the divorce settlement, particularly regarding custody and support agreements.
The involvement of the other parent in choosing healthcare providers for the pregnant party or the child is typically determined by the divorce decree. If both parents have joint legal custody, they both have the right to be involved in major decisions about the child's health care. However, as we mentioned, the terms of the divorce will not be finalized until after the child’s birth.
For the child, it's often required by law that one or both parents provide healthcare coverage. The details should be clearly outlined in the settlement agreement, including who will carry the policy and how any additional medical expenses will be divided.
Talk with Our Divorce Attorneys
The Neshanian Law Firm, Inc offers clients individualized counsel in divorce cases. Should you or your partner be pregnant, we can help you with the filing and explain how the case’s progression will be affected by the pregnancy.
Get in touch with our attorneys to discuss your divorce and/or custody case today. Call (949) 577-7935.