Can Someone Get a Divorce While Pregnant in Arizona?
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Unfortunately, sometimes pregnancy and divorce may go hand in hand, and an expectant mother may find herself seeking a divorce from her spouse. Pregnancy is a challenging situation that can add stress to any relationship, even the strong ones.
A lot of tension can surround a new baby coming. Whether the parents are worried about finances, the baby’s paternity, or many other issues. These added stress factors can sometimes also lead to divorce.
If you need immediate help with a family law matter such as this, call us now at (602) 825-2500. If you feel threatened for the safety of you or your baby, call the police first.
It is quite a complicated situation for a court to decide on divorce during pregnancy. Before taking any legal steps, you should consider talking to a family law attorney to help you understand your options and the potential outcomes. We will help you through the process.
In Arizona, you can file for divorce while pregnant, without any additional prerequisites aside from the standard residency requirements of living in the state for at least 90 days prior to filing. However, the court will not resolve issues like child custody or child support until the baby is born, potentially delaying the finalization of the divorce. Additionally, if the unborn child has a different biological father, legal steps such as the Waiver of Paternity Affidavit may be needed to disestablish paternity. Legal complexities can arise, especially when alternative methods like assisted reproductive technology are used for conception, making legal consultation advisable.
The article also touches on the emotional and financial stresses of divorcing while pregnant and how these may affect the decision-making process. For instance, if the couple can amicably agree, they may choose to delay the divorce until after the baby is born to reduce stress. But in cases involving domestic violence or abuse, immediate steps like obtaining protective orders may be necessary. The article also explores the option of moving to another state where divorce laws may be more lenient, but underscores that a family law attorney should be consulted for such significant decisions.
Can You Get Divorced While Pregnant?
The simple answer is, yes. In Arizona, you do not need to meet any special additional requirements and prerequisites to file for divorce when you are pregnant. The standard residency requirements do apply.
However, the Court will not be able to resolve child support without the birth of the Child having occurred. This can make navigating the divorce process a bit tricky and why you should see legal consultation from an Arizona family law attorney.
What are the Requirements for Divorce in Arizona?
The state of Arizona’s divorce laws do not have any particular prerequisites for a soon-to-be-mother to file for divorce while a couple is expecting. However, you must meet the residency requirements and have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days before you file a divorce petition.
Can You File for Divorce while Pregnant, After Meeting the Requirements?
As long as you meet these requirements, you have the right to file for a divorce petition in the county you reside. Because of pregnancy, it may take some time to get finalized and may exceed the typical timeframe if you want to wait for the court to enter certain orders.
For example, a court cannot order child support and child custody until the baby is born.
This may delay the finalization of the divorce. If you will not be able to finalize the divorce until the baby is born, this doesn’t mean that you must stay together with your partner during this time. Also, it may be possible to ask the judge to divorce you and return for child issues. Because this may be difficult, you should talk with an Arizona attorney.
If you feel unsafe in your marriage and are concerned that your partner may harm you, you must protect yourself. Find an alternative home, and if have experienced assault, contact the local authorities and a lawyer who will help you with the process of getting an order of protection.
Can Arizona Courts Finalize a Divorce if a Spouse is Pregnant?
As answered above, although you can file for divorce while pregnant in Arizona, some legal issues may prevent your divorce from being completed in the expected timeframe. It depends largely on how you structure your pleadings and any agreements you have with the other party. Although, you may have to return to court after the birth of your child.
Any child-related issue may remain pending until the birth of the infant.
This is because no courts in Arizona can decide on an order of child custody and child support if the baby in question is not yet born. At least, the court will require some proof of paternity and the baby’s Social Security Number before settling such matters.
When is a Pregnancy Addressed in a Couple’s Divorce Process?
A pregnancy is addressed immediately. When a person files the first document, their Petition, the person must state if the Wife is pregnant.
The other party’s response must also state if the Wife is pregnant.
What if the Divorce Has Already Begun?
The couple can add the information and agreements about pregnancy and parenting. After finalizing the divorce order, and the judge signs it, you will not be able to change anything your final order laid out the change or you file a post-decree petition, also known as a divorce order.
What if the Couple Uses Alternative Methods to get Pregnant?
In such a situation, the court must honor the couple’s intent to have a baby. If alternative methods were used to become pregnant, you could use every option described below to disestablish parentage. Alternative forms of getting pregnant include assisted reproductive technology or sperm donation.
What if the Unborn Child’s Father is an After Partner?
Suppose a woman is pregnant by a man who’s legally not her husband. In that case, the legal husband may ask to relinquish his legal paternity of that child. To do this, he will need to sign a Waiver of Paternity Affidavit and have it notarized.
If the unborn child’s biological father wishes to get legal paternity, he can get a signed waiver and a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and submit them to the Arizona Division of Child Support Services.
According to Arizona state law, the establishing paternity proceeding can happen even when the mother is pregnant.
You can ask the court to order that your partner is not the legal parent in any of the following two ways.
1. As Part of Your Divorce Petition or Response.
Do you want to file the Petition for Divorce? You may write in the petition that you would wish to have parentage disestablishment in your final divorce order. The process may become pretty complicated; therefore, it’s best to work with a lawyer with experience in these matters.
Do you want to respond to divorce? If you would like the disestablishment of parentage added to your final divorce order, you need to allege this from the beginning of the case. Before you file anything, it’s best to work with a child custody attorney from Colburn Hintze Maletta.
2. Through the filing of a petition for disproving the parentage of the presumed parent.
Filing this petition require you to prove that your partner shouldn’t be the child’s legal parent due to:
- You were not cohabiting (living together) at the conception of the child.
- You never had any sexual intercourse with one another at the child’s conception (this does not apply to a couple who utilized alternative methods of getting pregnant).
What are the Rules for Moving to a Different State?
Some states do not allow couples to proceed with divorce while pregnant. In such cases, one can change their residency, especially if they have only recently gotten pregnant and cannot file for divorce because of the pregnancy.
Our family law attorneys at Colburn Hintze Maletta are highly experienced in paternity matters and will guide you through the process.
To get answers to your questions about moving out of state, contact us today.
What are the Disadvantages and Advantages of Divorcing While Pregnant?
Divorce can be quite stressful, both financially and emotionally, for anyone involved. However, pregnancy can make it more difficult. An amicable couple may choose to wait for the baby to be born to reduce stress, especially for the mother. When a couple puts off the divorce, they may take a lot of pressure off their minds while preparing for the child to be born. Some couples may be forced to wait because of the paternity rules.
In Arizona, men are legally presumed to be the children’s fathers if they were married to the mothers when the babies were born.
If a man wants to have the custody of the child, they should consider staying married during the child’s birth for him to be established as the legal father.
However, sometimes it’s not suitable to delay a divorce. For example, if there have been domestic violence and abuse cases in the marriage, the other partner can initiate the process of their divorce.
Even if there is a lengthy process for dissolving the marriage, the divorce petitioner may request a particular take on decisions like a protective order or request temporary orders. If granted, the orders will be in effect as the divorce proceedings occur until the court reaches a final decision.
Divorce is a life-altering situation that may create a vital transition point in someone’s life. After filing for divorce, there is no turning back. Once you realize you are pregnant, you and your baby may feel devastated. Since babies are meant to bring joy and happiness to someone’s life, a couple should be ready to welcome their baby into a loving and caring environment even if divorce is the only alternative.
David Maletta is a widely respected criminal defense attorney with over 23 years of experience and has worked on over 1,000 cases and has successfully won over 100 jury trials. David graduated from Northern Arizona University, Magna Cum Laude in 1993 with a degree in Psychology. Shortly thereafter, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1998. He has extensive experience in criminal and DUI matters, homicide, sexually-based offenses, domestic violence, white-collar crimes, and various misdemeanor crimes.
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