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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.
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.
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Below are just a few of what our clients have to say!
“The calm in the middle of my storm…”
I, recently, consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again, however, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.
Frank - AVVO Review
“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”
I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.
Jacob - AVVO Review
“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”
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!
Chris - AVVO Review
“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”
Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trial… Watching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.
Gregory - AVVO Review
“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”
I had an incident and was Given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at was answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future and as of right now they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.
Dylan - AVVO Review
“Listens to every request that you make on a case”
I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.