When you are headed into the divorce process, you may be feeling ready and prepared to start life anew. Marital dissolutions in Florida are already a complex matter, so what happens when you find out that you are pregnant before the process even starts?
At Robert Sparks Divorce Attorneys, we understand that divorce is already stressful and overwhelming on its own. With an added pregnancy in the mix, you may wonder what options you have moving forward with your Florida divorce. Contact us for the support and resources that you need at this time.
The Legalities of Divorcing While Pregnant
In some states, such as California, couples are unable to finalize a divorce until a pregnancy ends and the baby is born. This makes custody division a lot simpler in the eyes of the court. However, Florida does not have these same laws. This means that, even if a party is pregnant, a divorce can continue. The spouses who are petitioning to start the divorce process must state that a spouse is pregnant. In doing so, there is a chance that the judge may delay finalizing the divorce until the baby is born so that it is born to two legal parents. Both spouses can avoid these delays by doing the following:
- Attesting that the non-pregnant spouse is the other parent of the child so that custody and support can be determined in advance
- Attesting that the non-pregnant party is not the parent and having the actual biological father sign an affidavit of paternity to protect both spouses during divorce
If the parentage of the child is unknown and either party contests these facts, the divorce may be delayed until the child is born and paternity matters can be handled.
Determinations to Make During a Florida Divorce Involving a Pregnancy
When it comes to a Florida divorce involving a pregnant spouse, there are some important determinations that must be made to keep the child’s future in mind. These include the following:
Child Custody Matters: When paternity has been established, whether before the divorce or after, child custody determinations must be made. Developing a parenting plan can be time-consuming and means that both parents will decide when the child will spend time with them. If changes must be made after the child is born, both parents can return to court on these matters.
Child Support Matters: In most cases, the court will help determine a child support order when you go through divorce while pregnant. However, there can be unexpected costs such as a child born with special needs or a significant change in the parenting plan. Child support may change greatly in the weeks or months following a divorce and a birth, which is why it is important to always keep an open mind.
Things to Consider During a Divorce While Pregnant
Pregnancy can be an emotional and stressful time in your life even if you are looking forward to it. The same can be said about enduring a Florida divorce for many different reasons. There are some things to keep in mind if you are going through a Florida divorce while enduring a pregnancy:
- Have friends and family by your side.
- Ensure that you and your child are out of harm’s way, especially if domestic violence is involved.
- Consider counseling, even if you and your spouse are not interested in reuniting, so that you can learn ways to work together for the benefit of your child.
- Plan how you will handle things financially after the birth and divorce process.
Contact a Florida Divorce Lawyer
Going through a divorce while pregnant may not be the most ideal situation in your eyes, but it can definitely be for the best for many individuals. At Robert Sparks Attorneys, we understand how sensitive of an issue divorce can be and want to provide you with the resources you need during this challenging time.
It is essential that you have an experienced and empathetic Florida divorce lawyer on your side throughout this process. To discuss with us how divorce during pregnancy works and what you can expect, please do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible.