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, and many other issues, such issue can be cause for divorce.
Can You Get Divorced While Pregnant?
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 to have occurred. This can making navigating the divorce process a bit tricky and why you should see legal consultation from an Arizona attorney.
What are the Requirements for Divorce in Arizona?
The state of Arizona 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 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. Nonetheless, although you may file the divorce, because of a 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.
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 a protective order.
Can Arizona courts finalize a divorce if a spouse is pregnant?
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 make an order on 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 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 (divorce order) petition.
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.
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 in 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 an attorney.
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).
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 child’s custody, 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 orders 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.
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. Call us today at (602) 825-2500. We will help you through the process.
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Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!
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