Deciding to end a marriage is a very serious decision and, oftentimes, a stressful experience. Add a pregnancy into the mix, and the stress is likely to increase exponentially. For many couples, waiting until after the baby is born to get the divorce is the best option — the one-step-at-a-time approach. For others, though, they’ll find it their overall best option to get a divorce during the pregnancy. For those couples, the information in this article will help navigate through the complications of getting divorced while pregnant.
Can I Get Divorced While Pregnant?
While you can begin filing for divorce, it varies from state to state whether the judge will grant the divorce during pregnancy. In Washington, a judge cannot deny or delay a divorce because one spouse is pregnant, so you should be able to finalize your divorce within the typical time frame.
Get a Reliable Divorce Lawyer
If you’re planning on getting divorced while pregnant, expect that your case may be more complicated than the average divorce. Because of the complex issues regarding child custody, child support, and even paternity, it’s not a good idea to seek out a cheap, do-it-yourself divorce service. When it comes to protecting the rights of you and your unborn child, you’ll want to have an experienced, qualified Washington divorce attorney in your corner.
In Washington, a baby is the legal child of both spouses if born during the marriage or within 300 days of the divorce. If there is a disagreement regarding parentage, there are several ways to proceed, depending on the situation. For instance, if a third party, rather than the spouse, is believed to be the parent of the child, one (or more) may apply:
- The pregnant woman can sue the third party to establish parentage
- The third party (potential father) can attempt to establish parentage
- Washington’s Support Enforcement Division can be asked to establish parentage
Child Custody & Support
If parentage is established and agreed upon, then the issues of child custody, child support, and the details of your parenting plan will all be decided in your divorce. If, however, parentage is challenged or has to be proven, a separate parentage suit will determine these issues.
AB Law is highly experienced in family law, especially the complicated matters of divorce. We’re here to help guide you through the these trying issues, while always keeping your best interests at heart.