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Does Pregnancy Impact Divorce in Florida?


Divorce is complicated enough without having to address the myriad issues associated with a pregnancy during the split.  That’s why, even though there’s no specific law on the books banning divorce during pregnancy, judges generally refuse to finalize one’s dissolution of marriage until after the baby is born.

What’s Behind the Practice 

If people want to get divorced, why should the courts stand in their way just because a woman is pregnant? From the perspective of the 1970’s, when a lot of these kinds of practices got their start, there are solid reasons. For starters, social appraisals of children born outside of marriage were tremendously unforgiving in the 70’s, and the practice was an effort to protect children from those negative judgements and the accompanying labels. Another issue is central to paternity concerns. If there was any doubt relating to paternity, in the 70’s, men were unable to secure an accurate paternity test until after the child was born. The results of such a test would obviously have a huge impact on custody and child support considerations. Which leads to the third concern:  the notion that the inevitable impacts of child support, custody considerations, and parenting plans must be a part of any divorce decree, and if the child was unborn, waiting for the birth was simply common sense.  It’s not that the process couldn’t begin prior to birth—just that finalizing the paperwork was more logically carried out once the child was born. Otherwise, busy courts would have to revisit these important issues later anyway., taking up more time and energy for no good reason.  Why not wait and take care of everything all at once? Rather than a punishment for pregnant women, putting off divorce was realistically the most practical way to address the needs of the child.

Problems Abound 

Is there a way to protect the interests of the unborn even though parents divorce prior to birth?  Is it worth investigating this question?  In other words, are there circumstances under which divorce should be allowed, regardless of the circumstances? While some may argue that any person deserves to terminate a marriage at the time of their choosing, most everyone would agree that, in some situations, allowing a divorce is a no-brainer. Examples of these situations include:

  • In situations where a man prefers to keep his wife perpetually pregnant, making divorce all but impossible.
  • When domestic violence is occurring.
  • When men are trapped in marriages even though their wives were impregnated by men other than their husbands.

These situations could be difficult for anyone to tolerate– even unbearable. And society has relaxed plenty in recent decades, to the point that societal judgment is virtually a non-issue. As for paternity testing, advances in testing over the years allows for tremendously accurate testing that can occur after eight weeks of pregnancy, and those tests are not unsafe or invasive.

Advocating for You 

Divorce can be complicated by any number of factors, and pregnancy is certainly one of them.  The supportive Boca Raton divorce attorneys at WiseLieberman always fight for the best possible outcome.

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