Ventura Attorney for a Divorce While Pregnant

If you are seeking a divorce while you happen to be pregnant, California law supports your decision.  There is nothing in the law that prohibits people from getting divorced while pregnant, and there is nothing forcing pregnant mothers to have a baby first before they finalize their divorce.  If you live in the Ventura area and you are considering filing for divorce while you are pregnant, contact the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth today.

Our Ventura attorneys for divorce while pregnant represent either parent in a divorce case that takes place during pregnancy.  If you are considering filing for divorce while pregnant or your spouse has filed for divorce against you, it is important to talk to a lawyer about the legal process and your rights throughout the divorce.  For help with your case, call our law offices to schedule a free legal consultation at (805) 643-5555.

Divorcing During Pregnancy in California

The law in California allows you to get a divorce while pregnant or if you become pregnant while the divorce is pending.  There is only one type of “grounds” for divorce in California: no-fault divorce.  This means that you don’t need to prove any adultery, abuse, abandonment, or other wrongdoing to get a divorce.  Instead, you merely need to claim that you have irreconcilable differences and want to end the marriage, and a court should grant this.

If you are pregnant, there may be some timing issues to take into consideration.  The average pregnancy lasts around 9 months, and California law has a 6-month waiting period for divorces.  This means that if you only just found out you are pregnant, the timing may work to finalize the divorce before the baby arrives, but courts will typically postpone finalizing the divorce until the baby is born.  If you are already past your first trimester, the divorce will be finalized after the baby arrives, so you can generally proceed on schedule.

Since most divorces involving children also deal with issues of child custody and support at the time of the divorce, your case should manage these issues as well.  However, courts typically only make custody decisions about babies after they are born.  If your child will not arrive until after the divorce is finalized, the court will likely have you wait until the baby is born so they can finalize the divorce and set custody and support at the same time.

Paternity Issues in Divorces While Pregnant

In many marriages, the prospect of having children is the catalyst that helps people decide to get divorced.  In others, the pregnancy may be the cause of the divorce, either because the other parent does not want to be a parent or because they are not the parent of the baby.  Either way, California law has methods for determining paternity.

Paternity usually refers to the father, but issues of parentage can occur in same-sex marriages as well.  California law generally assumes that the mother’s spouse is the other parent, whether they actually are the biological parent or not.  This presumption extends 300 days after the marriage ends,meaning that if you give birth within 10 months of the divorce, your ex-spouse is still assumed to be the parent.

If your spouse is the parent, this is a simple rule that helps in your case.  If someone else is the parent, you may need to go through legal hurdles to have your spouse give up the legal claim of parentage and allow the biological parent to step in as the child’s legal parent.

Paternity is such an important issue in many child custody cases because the court typically considers only the parents listed on the child’s birth certificate when awarding custody.  If you become pregnant after separation or after filing for divorce, the law may create absurd situations where the child’s biological parent cannot claim custody, and you may need a lawyer to help fight your case.

Legal Aspects of Getting a Divorce While Pregnant in California

Aside from the issues of paternity and child custody, there are other standard issues you will face while seeking a divorce in California.  These issues are common in most divorce cases and can occur whether you are pregnant or not.

The financial effects of divorce are different for every couple, but issues of asset division and alimony are common in most cases.  When divorcing in California, you and your spouse split all shared property 50/50.  If you have a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement, you may be able to modify how much each party gets and how specific assets are divided during divorce.  Even though 50/50 seems like a simple division, these cases are often contentious, especially if valuable or important assets are involved.

Alimony is vital in many divorce cases that happen during pregnancy or soon after giving birth to a child.  Many new mothers will take maternity leave or may need to go to multiple doctor’s appointments during and after their pregnancy.  This can mean facing an increased cost that may justify spousal support, at least for a limited time.  If you have other grounds for spousal support, such as a need for job retraining and education, a long marriage before the divorce, or a medical condition that requires financial support, you may qualify for additional ongoing alimony.

Call Our Ventura Divorce Lawyers for a Free Consultation on a Divorce During Pregnancy

If you are considering filing for divorce while pregnant or have become pregnant after filing for divorce, it is vital to have an attorney handle your case.  There are issues with paternity and child support that will affect your life going forward, plus you may need additional assets and alimony to support you as a new mother.  For help with your case, contact the Ventura attorneys for divorce while pregnant at the Law Offices of Bamieh and De Smeth.  Our number is (805) 643-5555.  Call us today to set up a free legal consultation.

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